This past Sunday I attended what must have been the 5th or 6th H.S. graduation party for my oldest son Grid, and his classmates. Despite the rather frigid temps at the beach where the party was held, and the fact that some of the kids HAD to have been suffering from party fatigue (it seems that current fashion dictates that EVERY family of a graduate must host a party in order that their kids remain in good standing with their class), a great time was had by all. Calypso Hurricane rocked the house, and even pulled our young star Boris to the stage to lay down a sweet bass track for the band. Entwistle would have been proud.
Never wanting to arrive at a party empty handed, I called a few days before the gig to see what I could bring. As the menu was expected to be heavy on fried foods and burgers, I was asked to bring along something on the healthy side for those looking to add a little color and crunch to their party platter. Lucky for me I had discovered this recipe just a few weeks before, it was a perfect and healthy edition to the party buffet, and such a hit that I have been inundated with requests for the recipe. This dip is stupid easy to put together and holds up beautifully for a few days. In fact, the photo above is of two day old dip left-over from the party, and it is still vibrant green and delicious!
The recipe is an adaptation of one by Jean-Georges Vongerichten that Peyton discovered when planning a special meal recently. We made a small batch of what Jean-Georges calls "Soy Bean Coulis" to serve with some tuna spring rolls that she made, it was sublime and I have tweaked the recipe a bit to come up with this lovely dip. This stuff is so good that you'll want to use it for more than just a dip with crudité and chips. We gently reheated some the other day and served it as a vegetable purée along side a seared duck breast and some rice, it was delicious.
Perhaps the best thing about it is how healthy it is. The purée consists of the following things and nothing else. Edamame beans, green peas, cilantro (a large bunch, not one of those dainty little .75 ounce boxes of herbs you'll find at the grocery), garlic, jalapeno, nam pla (Asian fish sauce), salt, and water. There is no oil or dairy, or even nuts…just pure veggie goodness. Enjoy!
Cheers – Steve
- 12 ounce bag of frozen, shelled edamame (soy) beans
- 6 ounces of frozen green peas
- 1 large bunch of cilantro, washed well but left wet, only thick stems removed
- 2 small garlic cloves (or 1 large), peeled and roughly chopped
- 2 jalapenos, ribs and seeds removed, roughly chopped
- 1 1/2 tablespoons nam pla (Asian fish sauce) - or more to taste
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice - or more to taste
- water to loosen
- kosher salt to taste
- Place the cilantro, garlic, jalapeno, lime juice and nam pla in the hopper of a blender.
- Cook the edamames and peas in a large pot of salted boiling water until tender, 4-5 minutes, drain. Add them to the blender and purée, adding water slowly to get the mix to the consistency you desire, it'll probably take 1/4-1/2 cup of water.
- Check for seasoning adding more nam pla, lime juice or salt to taste.
- Serve as a vegetable purée side dish, with chips, or with vegetable crudité. It would also make a smashing sandwich spread.