Day 216: Spinach Dip with Standing Veggies

"Presentation" rarely ranks high on the priority list but this easy way to serve fresh vegetables struck the right note in both function and form.

As for the spinach dip -- the recipe looked interesting in its own right but especially because all the ingredients were already on hand -- yes! no grocery shopping!

The dip turned out only okay but is worth trying again. Next time I would:
  • Roughly chop the cooked spinach instead of pureeing it into an awful-looking green gruel
  • Omit the goat cheese added in an attempt to 'save' the dip after the fatal pureeing
  • Let it rest before serving (the inspiring recipe suggests at least one day and as many as four)
  • Serve as a spread for bread not vegetables

~ more appetizer recipes ~

Active time for dip: 35 minutes, only 15 hands-on
Time to table: 2 - 4 days
Makes about 3/4 cup

4 garlic cloves
8 ounces fresh spinach (bagged spinach worked great)
1/2 bunch fresh parsley (about 2 ounces)
1 bunch fresh cilantro (about 4 ounces)
Leafy parts of 2 - 3 celery stalks

1 tablespoon olive oil
12 Kalamata olives
Kosher salt to taste
3/4 teaspoon pimenton de la vera, the sweet Spanish smoked paprika (or sweet Hungarian paprika)
Pinch cayenne
Pinch cumin
Juice of 1/2 lemon (about 1 tablespoon)

Steam briefly, then shock in ice water to stop cooking and retain color, trim to same length:
Skinny green beans

Cut lengthwise into thin spears, then trim to same length:
Carrots, peeled
Sweet peppers
English cucumber

Bring an inch of water to boil in a large pot with a collapsible steamer. Place the garlic, spinach, parsley, cilantro and celery leaves on the steamer and steam for about 15 minutes. Set aside the collapsible steamer, spinach still on top. Return the pot to the stove, set fire to MEDIUM HIGH. When it's hot, add the olive oil. When the oil's hot, add the spinach, olives, salt, pimenton, cayenne and cumin. Reduce heat to medium and let the spinach continue to cook, mashing a bit, until they've softened and the liquid has cooked away.

(Here's where I got out the food processor and added the cheese. Bad moves!)

Roughly chop the spinach mixture. Stir in the lemon juice. Taste and adjust seasonings. Refrigerate for 1 - 4 days. (I believe that to retain the spinach's bright green color, you'd want to put this in a container, press plastic wrap right against the spinach so no air touches it, then cover it with a tight lid.)

(Dip only) Per tablespoon: 27 Cal (56% from Fat, 14% from Protein, 31% from Carb); 1 g Protein; 2 g Tot Fat; 0 g Sat Fat; 2 g Carb; 1 g Fiber; 41 mg Calcium; 1 mg Iron; 97 mg Sodium; 0 mg Cholesterol, Weight Watchers 1 point

Adapted from Paula Wolfert's The Slow Mediterranean Kitchen

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. Alanna--

    This looks SO good. And the photograph is fabulous. I'm going to include this in today's round-up of the best gluten-free foods on the web this week!


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna