Recently I whipped up a couple of new-to-my-book-group treats: Dilled Havarti Spread and Spicy Peanut Dip. The group asked me to post the recipes, so here they are.
Dilled Havarti Spread
Here's a helpful hint: put the havarti in the freezer for a while to make it easier to shred. I used the smaller shredding holes on my hand-held flat grater; the smaller shreds mix better with the mayo.
If you can't find dilled havarti--although usually it's available, I've found--use plain havarti and increase the added dill to taste. It should be quite dilly!
This recipe can be found in Moosewood Restaurant: New Classics.
1 cup shredded dill Havarti, lightly packed
1/4 cup minced scallions (include some of the green)
2 T. chopped fresh dill, or 1 T. dried
1/3 cup mayonnaise
Mix together the cheese, scallions, dill, and mayo. Spread on toasted baguettes, cocktail pumpernickel bread, or crackers.
Makes about a cup.
Spicy Peanut Dip
This offering by Deborah Madison in her book ("the orange bible," as I call it) Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, is different and very tasty. I like it on raw vegetables, especially cauliflower, but you could try it on, say, toasted pita wedges or some such, I suppose.
I didn't have any limes when I made this, so I used lemon juice. Also, you should vary the amount of hot chiles according to your preference. The original recipe called for two chopped serranos, which I knew would be too hot. I used one smallish jalapeno (Mexican strain, not the blander American variety), and I stripped the seeds and membranes to make it milder ("know your diners" is my advice). Under no circumstances attempt to make this with anything but natural peanut butter--it just wouldn't taste good made with the sweetened glop.
I found that I needed a few tablespoons of warm water to thin this out to dipping consistency.
1 cup natural peanut butter
1 bunch scallions, including some green, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 jalapeno, coarsely chopped (remove seeds for milder heat)
1 T. soy sauce
Juice of two limes
1 tsp. turmeric
Combine all ingredients in food processor and blend until smooth but flecks of green still remain. Add warm water to thin the dip if needed. Taste and adjust the soy sauce and lime juice, adding more of either to get the balance right.