If your Easter celebrations were anything like ours, you are probably feeling the excess of Peeps and Cadbury Eggs about now.
I thought I would do us all a favor and make vegetables - a post-candy-fest necessity - a bit more interesting by way of dip.
This particular dip is cheese-based but feels so fresh and healthful. If you are feeling a Monday night snack dinner, this is a good place to start.
Whole milk ricotta, feta, sun-dried tomatoes and roasted red peppers (the kind you buy in a jar) are blended into oblivion to create a flavor-packed dip that might just make you crave vegetables.
Oh, and because I am a total texture freak, I also added crunchy roasted chickpeas and pine nuts.
Just stacking flavors over here like it’s my job. Oh, wait…it is.
I par-roasted (I am making that a thing) some zucchini because I cannot get enough of squash this time of year, sliced up some peppers, and accidentally threw some warm naan onto this platter, but you could dip just about any vegetable (or carb) into this coral-colored creaminess.
It is so fresh and easy and the perfect way to fuel slightly more healthful snack choices!
Snack dinner is calling my name.
Roasted Red Pepper Whipped Ricotta Dip
Cook’s Notes: Dip can be made 1-2 days in advance and refrigerated, however, I do not recommend making the roasted chickpeas or zucchini until just before you plan on serving. The chickpeas will become soggy if allowed to sit on top of the dip and the zucchini is best if served warm.
for the roasted chickpeas & zucchini
15 ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed well under cold water
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
2 medium zucchini
6 cloves garlic, peeled
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a small mixing bowl, combine olive oil, sea salt, and garlic powder. Toss in chickpeas and pour onto one of the baking sheets. Spread evenly over the surface of the baking sheet.
Cut the zucchini into spears and lay evenly across the second baking sheet. Place garlic cloves in one of the corners of the pan. Drizzle the entire pan with extra virgin olive oil. Sprinkle the zucchini with sea salt.
Roast the zucchini and chickpeas together, rotate the pans every 10 minutes if your oven tends to cook unevenly. Roast the zucchini and garlic for 20-25 minutes, until it is just beginning to brown, then remove the pan from the oven.
Roast the chickpeas for an additional 10-15 minutes; until very browned and crisp. Allow to cool completely.
Allow the zucchini to cool until just warm while you prepare the dip. The roasted garlic will go into our dip. (Recipe follows.)
for the dip
4 ounces whole milk ricotta
8 ounces fresh feta
1 large fire-roasted red pepper (about 1/2 cup if chopped)
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes
6 cloves roasted garlic
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
parsley, finely chopped
naan, for serving
yellow bell peppers, sliced, for serving
Combine ricotta, roasted red peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, previously prepared roasted garlic, olive oil, and kosher salt in the work bowl of your food processor. Pulse on high speed for two minutes.
Pour the dip into a wide, shallow bowl and sprinkle with prepared roasted chickpeas, pine nuts, and parsley and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.
Serve alongside warm naan, roasted zucchini, and yellow bell peppers or any vegetables of your choosing!