One thing I spend far too much time thinking about is how to coax more vegetables into our/other people’s/people with temporarily strange palates lives. I could probably speak French and Italian by now if I were to have put in the same amount of time and effort. But who needs to be understood in the countries of love when you can….eat more veggies?
Anyway, this dip is my latest obsession. I am now in my last week (hopefully?) of pregnancy and have been making up for the all but complete lack of vegetables in the first half of my pregnancy. That stretch of time brought me a deeper understanding of my clients who were going through treatment who only wanted beige food, but it also meant this baby got a lot more beige food than I was happy with (thank goodness for smoothies).
When you feel good, it’s much easier to eat well, which seems sort of unfair considering how important good nutrition is when you’re under the weather. The good news is once you feel better it’s easy to make up for lost time/phytonutrients.
One of my tricks is to always have veggies in your fridge (duh). It sounds simple but if they’re in there, all fresh and organic and kind of expensive, there is nothing more annoying than having them go off before you get to them. Another tip is to wash them and cut them up so that the are that much easier to snack on or incorporate into a dish. Think of the pomegranate that can sit in your fridge for weeks untouched but disappears immediately once all of the juicy seeds have been popped out. Same concept, we’re just kind of lazy/tired.
This works even better if you have something AWESOME to dip your veggies in. You will not catch me eating raw black radish, plain, pre-sliced out of a container in my fridge (just kind of boring, bitter and fibrous) (also I’m weird and pregnant), but if it takes a swim through this dip, I will eat all of the black radish before even realizing it. And my liver (and my baby’s liver) (and probably my neighbours’ livers, too) get a big, beautiful boost.
This dip is absolutely delicious. The olives give it some healthy fats and a salty/brininess, the artichokes give it some smoother texture, liver love and that taste that is so hard to pair with wine but who cares when they go so well with olives. We used navy beans, but any lentils/beans would work, and garlic (great lung protection) and dulse (mineral city). When all of the flavours are this bold, they play exceedingly well together.
It is so intensely flavourful it will make your hummus look like it is yawning, and you can dip into it all of the seemingly higher maintenance veggies not always seen on a crudité platter. Carrots and celery would still taste good with this (as would a spoon) but I encourage you to choose some of the more bitter/pungent vegetables, the ones that usually need a bit more love than a clean and a chop to make them enjoyable.
We have served it with black radish, radicchio and broccolini (all from different cancer-crushing families) but regular radishes, raw beet slices, sliced cabbage, kohlrabi, rapini and the broccoli stems that you keep thinking you’ll get around to juicing would all be good choices too. It would also be delicious in a collard wrap with our Falafel and Tabouli (I need to make these again soon), or underneath a big bitter green salad or our Pan-seared Radicchio. By merely having this dip in our fridge I can guarantee your veggies will start to disappear.
I cannot get enough radicchio these days, which is really what inspired this post. I needed a way to eat it that was easy to grab and it needed more than hummus as a dance partner. I’m hoping this baby comes out very sweet to balance out all of the bitter radicchio I’ve been feeding it every single day (and not just very bitter like a slightly larger and more upset purple radicchio). I’ll keep you posted.
- ¾ c dried Navy beans, soaked for 8-10 hours, drained, rinsed and simmered with a sheet of kombu (or about 2 c of cooked navy beans)
- ¾ c Artichoke Hearts (about 1 jar/can)
- ¾ c Olives (we used Kalamata), pitted
- 1-2 Garlic cloves
- 3 Tbsp Dulse, roughly shredded with your hands
- ¼ c Extra Virgin Olive Oil (plus a drizzle for garnish)
- 1 Tbsp fresh Lemon Juice
- Zest of one Lemon
- Fresh Basil (optional, to garnish)
- In a food processor, blend all ingredients until smooth.
- Serve with a drizzle of olive oil, some olives and fresh basil.
- Tastes great spread in a collard green wrap, smeared on a plate under some green salad or with lots of raw veggies for dipping, we used fresh radicchio, broccolini and thinly sliced black radish.