This creamy vegan dilled watercress dip benefits from the peppery flavor of this tiny leafy green. Silken tofu is a fantastically smooth dairy-free base, and hint of tahini pulls all the flavors together.
The dip is delicious served with baby carrots, spoon-sized pieces of bell pepper, celery, and other crisp vegetables, as well as whole-grain crackers and crispbreads. The recipe makes about 1 1/2 cups.
All leafy greens are packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, but watercress is one of the most nutrient-dense among them. Get to know it ways to use it more often!
Get to know watercress
The flavor of watercress is often described as peppery, and though that’s already a bit of a culinary cliché, but there’s really no other word for it.
A member of the mustard family, the peppery heat of this tiny green comes from the mustard oils that are released when chewing the leaves. It’s a mild and pleasant bite, and this tender, vitamin-C rich green is easy to love.
It used to be that like asparagus, seeing watercress at the market was a sign of spring, but now, it’s available most of the year around. Watercress is believed to have healing and tonic properties above and beyond its splendid concentration of vitamins and minerals.
Watercress is usually sold in small bouquet-like bundles. The diminutive roundish leaves top long, slender stems. The stems are edible and you can use as much or as little of them as you choose; it’s a purely aesthetic decision.
The easiest (and tastiest) way to use this delicate green is uncooked. In addition to enjoying it in salads, watercress is also good in sandwiches in place of lettuce, in dips like this one, and in herbal salad dressings in place of, or in addition to parsley.
Once the leaves look like they need to be used up, watercress is good as a last-minute addition to soups and briefly wilted in stir-fries.
Recipe is adapted from Wild About Greens by Nava Atlas. Photos of dip by Hannah Kaminsky, BittersweetBlog.com.
- 12.3-ounce package firm silken tofu
- 1/2 bunch watercress leaves
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
- 2 teaspoons all-purpose seasoning blend (like Spike or Mrs. Dash)
- 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish, optional (but highly recommended)
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Place the tofu in a food processor and process until pureed. Add the watercress leaves in 2 or 3 batches, and pulse on and off until finely chopped.
- Add the remaining ingredients and pulse on and off just until the ingredients are well integrated into the tofu; leave a bit of texture.
- Transfer to a small serving bowl and serve with any of the suggested accompaniments in the Notes, below.
Serve with baby carrots, spoon-sized pieces of bell pepper, celery, and other crisp raw vegetables, as well as whole-grain crackers and crispbreads. The recipe makes about 1 1/2 cups.
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