- Kosher salt, as needed
- 1/4 pound green or wax beans, ends trimmed
- 1 to 2 stalks of broccoli, or 1/2 head cauliflower, trimmed into florets
- 1/2 pound asparagus, stalks peeled, woody ends trimmed
- 1/2 pound fresh sugar snap peas
- 1 fennel bulb, trimmed, sliced vertically into 1/4-inch wedges
- 1 red bell pepper, trimmed, seeded, and cut into strips
- 1 yellow bell pepper, trimmed, seeded, and cut strips
- 1 bunch radishes (about 10) (with greens attached), washed
- 4 medium carrots, cut into 4-inch-long sticks
- 1 to 2 small zucchini or summer squash, cut into spears
- 1 bunch scallions (white and green), trimmed
- 1 medium cucumber, peeled if waxed, cut into spears
- 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes
- Curry Dip or "Really" Onion Dip, recipes follow, or sauce of your choice
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt generously. Fill a large bowl with ice water and salt generously. Drop the beans into the boiling water and cook, uncovered, until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Scoop them out of the water and immediately plunge the beans into the ice water, to stop their cooking and set the color. Cool, remove them from the ice bath, and pat dry. Repeat with the broccoli and asparagus. (The asparagus may take a minute less, depending on their size.)
Attractively arrange all the vegetables on a large serving platter and serve with the dip of your choice.
- 2 cups whole milk yogurt
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, like soy, peanut, or corn
- 1 large clove garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon Madras curry powder
- 1/2 cup prepared mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons sweet mango chutney, finely chopped
- 1 scallion (white and green), thinly sliced
- 2 dashes hot sauce, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh coriander (cilantro)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Heat the oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the curry and cook, stirring, until fragrant about 30 seconds more. Set aside to cool.
Yield: about 2 cups
"Really" Onion Dip:
- 3 medium onions, 2 left in their skins, and 1 peeled
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 cups mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Hot sauce, as needed
- 2 scallions (white and green), minced
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
In a roasting pan, rub the 2 onions in their skins with the 2 tablespoons oil. Bake until squishy soft, turning them once, about 45 minutes. Set aside to cool completely. Peel the onions and set aside.
Meanwhile, finely dice the remaining onion. Preheat a large, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Add the remaining 1 cup oil and heat until hot. Add the diced onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until they just begin to lightly brown, about 5 minutes. Lower the heat to medium-low and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 18 minutes more. Strain the onions through a sieve over a bowl. Transfer the onions to a paper towel-lined plate and spread them into a single layer. Reserve 1/4 cup of the onion oil and let it cool completely. (Reserve the remaining oil for dressings or marinades.)
Puree the roasted onions in a food processor. Add the mayonnaise, sour cream, vinegar, and salt, and pulse until smooth. While the motor is running, drizzle in the 1/4 cup of reserved onion oil until incorporated. Season with pepper and hot sauce, to taste. Transfer the onion dip to a serving bowl and stir in the scallion. Refrigerate until very thick, about 3 hours or overnight.
When ready to serve top with the fried onions.
Yield: about 4 cups
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