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Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Pass the Dip!

I'm always looking for another dip recipe...I like to have lots of options when it comes to appetizer and/or potluck selections. Do you remember me telling you that I'm a home recipe tester for Cook's Country (America's Test Kitchen)? Well, the latest recipe to test was one for Reduced-Fat Creamy Pesto Dip. Visions of bright green smothered crackers and veggies danced in my head...until I took a look at the ingredients, that is! A quarter of a cup of basil...that is the only green thing in the whole recipe. Well, it does say creamy. So...I cleared my mind of all pre-conceived notions and set to work whipping up this super-simple dip. Reduced-Fat Creamy Pesto Dip (test recipe from Cook's Country) yield: 2 c. 1 c. low-fat cottage cheese ¼ c. boiling water 1 c. low-fat sour cream ¼ c. finely chopped fresh basil 1 garlic clove, minced 5 Tbs. grated Parmesan cheese 1 Tbs. olive oil Salt and pepper 1. Puree cottage cheese and boiling water in blender until completely smooth. Transfer to bowl, then whisk in sour cream, basil, garlic, Parmesan, and oil. Season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate at least 1 hour. Serve.
Take a look at the mixture in the is cottage cheese and boiling water whipped up nice & fluffy (who'd a thunk it!). Transfer mixture to a bowl and stir in remaining ingredients except salt & that after the rest is whisked in. Remember to be gentle when chopping your basil because it bruises so easily (you know, those black edges & knife marks you sometimes see on chopped basil)...I recommend rolling the leaves together tightly, then chiffonade, then gently slice through the other way 1 or 2 times.
This dip turned out with a very creamy mouth-feel (and remember...low-fat!). You get a great hit of that peppery-green basil flavor in eat bite, along with that creeping garlic undertone. Great with the brightness of grape or cherry tomatoes. It was also good with it would fit right in with a crudite tray.
Since this was a test recipe, and I had to evaluate it as is, I left it that way for the purpose of honest feedback. But, when I make it for my own purposes, I will probably add some more color (for better presentation)...some red bell pepper diced-up nice & tiny (brunoise)...a little grated lemon zest...maybe some toasted pine nuts?
I want to throw in the fat-comparison given with the recipe (as compared with a regular-fat recipe):
Might as well make the healthier version, because there is no flavor sacrifice here!

Would you like to comment?

  1. Uh oh...dip is my weakness...but's lowfat!!

  2. Excellent job cutting out so much fat! Love the creative photo looking down in to a blender.

  3. mmmm. pesto is one of my favorite things! i love the idea of making it a dip like this!

  4. A pesto dip, great choice. I LOVE that idea. It sounds so fresh and flavorful! Cooks Country has some terrific recipes, don't they?

  5. That looks so healthy! I see your cat Lucy is cuddling with Twilight. Is she an Edward Cullen fan? I just finished reading Eclipse a couple of days ago. I'm going to wait a week or so before I put myself on the list at the library for the last one. Prolong the suspense a little!

  6. Thanks everybody...

    Donna...yes, love Cook's Country, ATK & Cook's Illustrated recipes!!

    Joie...Lucy is definitely an Edward fan (who isn't????)...but I think her reasons are that he keeps me sitting for extended periods of time (hence, lap space)! I don't know how you can wait...I'm always in such a rush to read the next one in a good series...and always so disappointed when there's no more left to read :) enjoy it once u get it!

  7. I don't think you can ever go wrong with more dip recipes! I like that it's healthier too.

  8. This looks really tasty! I really love that it's low fat, it makes it taste even better :-) Thanks for sharing, I'll be trying this one out.

  9. When I first saw cottage cheese I was turned off, but pureeing it sounds good! It is really a great calorie saver. And I love pesto!!

  10. Anytime "creamy" can be made "healthy", I'm all over it!