Take a Dip!: Whole-food Appetizers

Try these healthy dip recipes from restaurateur and cookbook author Yotam Ottolenghi.

| May/June 2017

  • Unique flavor combinations and whole-food nutrition make these beautiful appetizers good for you, too!
    Photo by Jonathan Lovekin

Yotam Ottolenghi’s popular restaurants in London have become cult favorites for the vegetable- and Middle Eastern-obsessed. The Ottolenghi website describes their menus as “full of harmonious contradictions ... vibrant and bold yet familiar and comforting…beautiful to look at yet close to its original form.” All of these are apt descriptions of the recipes in Ottolenghi’s series of best-selling cookbooks: Plenty, Ottolenghi, Jerusalem, Plenty More and Nopi. Rarely will you find such a wide variety of ingredients thrown together in such visually stunning combinations.

Fava Bean Spread with Roasted Garlic Ricotta Recipe
Crushed Carrots with Harrisa and Pistachios Recipe
Butternut Squash-Tahini Spread Recipe
Pureéd Beets with Yogurt and Za'atar Recipe
Burnt Eggplant with Garlic, Lemon and Pomegranate Seeds Recipe

I review a LOT of cookbooks. My office is overflowing with books about every food from every place prepared every imaginable way. Yet, Ottolenghi’s books are some of the freshest and most exciting cookbooks I’ve ever had the pleasure to peruse. I want to make every single dish from every single book. And so far, each recipe I’ve tried has been a huge hit with my family, which includes at least two extremely picky eaters.

Here we share six of Ottolenghi’s vegetable-based dip recipes that are perfect for spring and summer gatherings. These mashed and puréed concoctions reveal how varied, interesting and healthful snacking can be. It may be a lot of work to prepare them all for one summer event, but if you could manage to do it, your table would be a serious showstopper.

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