Kind of a marriage of guacamole and hummus, this delectable and downright addictive dip is packed with baby greens. Avocado, tahini, and spinach dip is a rich blend that makes a fantastic appetizer. As you’ll see in the recipe, other baby greens can be used along with or in place of spinach. Served with tortilla chips, fresh pita, pita chips, and/or raw veggies, it makes a bold flavor statement.
This flavor-packed dip, adapted from my book Wild About Greens, is one of the recipes I like to demonstrate at public talks. It’s always practically inhaled. One audience begged me to make another batch after demolishing the first, and it’s so quick to make that I obliged.
If you’re a raw foods fan (or just want to skip a step), using the greens uncooked is fine. Skip step one and add the greens to the food processor in batches in step number two. If this isn’t all used up when you serve it at a gathering, you can use leftovers spread on bread to make a bold-flavored avocado toast.
This makes about about 1 1/2 cups and serves 8 or more depending on what else is being served (and how hungry your guests are!). And did I mention quick? This takes no more than 10 minutes to prepare.
- 3 to 4 ounces baby spinach, arugula, power greens, or a combination
- 1 medium-large ripe avocado, or 2 small ones, pitted, peeled, and diced
- 1/3 cup tahini (sesame paste)
- Juice of 1 lemon (about 1/4 cup)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley, cilantro, or dill
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Tortilla chips, fresh pita, pita chips, raw veggies, or a combination
- Rinse the greens and place in a large skillet or saucepan. With just the water clinging to the leaves, cook until just wilted down, not more than a minute. Remove from the heat.
- Place all the ingredients in the container of a food processor, and process until smooth. Add just a little water, if need be, to get the dip flowing and get it to a medium-thick consistency.
- Transfer to a serving bowl.
- Serve with any of the items suggested under For serving. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two days.
The goods on the baby greens
Time was when spinach and arugula were considered cool-weather leafy greens, but now they’re commonly available available year round, along with other baby greens mixes.
All the baby greens are good used raw as well as lightly cooked. They’re a great addition to smoothies, in which their mild flavor blends beautifully with fruit, and as salad greens.
Lightly cooked, and by that I mean just the briefest of wilting, you can toss them in at the very end and stir in just until wilted. Similarly, you can scatter a big handful atop a pizza just as it’s finishing its bake time and bake for just another minute or so.
Spinach comes in a surprising array of varieties, but it seems like many of us have gotten stuck on baby spinach. It’s so convenient — no chopping or stemming. And unlike fresh batches of larger leaf varieties, baby spinach is triple washed and super clean. That said though, I still like to give any greens, even those labeled triple-washed, a good rinse before using.
Used raw as a salad or smoothie green, or lightly wilted in any number of dishes, I vote for baby spinach as Most Versatile Leafy Green ever!
Arugula has a bold flavor, sometimes described as peppery or mustardy, though somehow those fail to capture its unique flavor. Baby or young arugula leaves are less pungent than larger leaves that are left to grow larger before harvesting. Arugula is used raw (in which form it retains more of its bite) and wilted or very lightly cooked.
Arugula is similar to spinach in the ways it can be used, and can be interchanged with it in many dishes, or it can replace part of the amount of spinach called for, like this one.
Power greens are a new addition to the market, combining baby chard, baby kale, and baby spinach in one neat package. You’ll find this located wherever baby spinach and baby arugula are shelved in the produce sections of well-stocked supermarkets.