Crudite with Roasted Garlic and Red Bell Pepper Dip
- 2 red bell peppers
- 1/4 cup Roasted Garlic, recipe follows
- 1/2 pound feta cheese, drained
- 1/4 cup, plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano leaves
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley leaves, garnish
- Zucchini batons
- Jicama sticks
- Baby carrots
- Sliced European cucumbers
- Blanched asparagus spears
- Sliced fennel
For the peppers: Roast the peppers by placing them on an open gas flame, turning them frequently with tongs until all sides are charred black, 7 to 10 minutes. Place in a plastic or paper bag, and cool for about 15 minutes. Peel the peppers, remove the seeds and stems, and discard. Coarsely chop the peppers.
Transfer the peppers and garlic to a food processor and process until smooth. Add the cheese and process until smooth. With the machine running, add 1/4 cup of the extra-virgin olive oil and lemon juice in a steady stream through the feed tube. Add the basil, oregano, red pepper flakes, and 1/4 teaspoon salt, and process until smooth. Adjust the seasoning, to taste. Transfer to a decorative bowl and refrigerate for 1 hour. Before serving, drizzle with the remaining 1 teaspoon of extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkle with the parsley. Serve cool or at room temperature, with assorted crudite for dipping.
2 heads garlic, upper quarter removed
2 teaspoons olive oil
Ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the garlic on a foil-lined baking sheet and rub 1 teaspoon of oil into the top of each head. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper and place, cut side down, on the baking sheet. Bake until the cloves are soft and golden, about 1 hour. Remove from the oven and let sit until cool enough to handle. Squeeze each head of garlic to expel the cloves into a bowl. Mash into a paste. Set aside until needed.
Note: Each head of garlic makes approximately 2 tablespoons of roasted garlic.
Yield: 1/4 cup