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When Green Returns and Middle Eastern Dips

“I believe the nicest and sweetest days
are not those on which anything very splendid or wonderful or exciting happens
but just those that bring simple little pleasures,
following one another softly,
like pearls slipping off a string.”
L.M. Montgomery

As much as I adored the rain that fell in sheets and dollops this past week, it is even more exquisite to look out my window and see green now, as far as the eye can see.

Ground that was parched and brown now shimmers with lime and emerald, and even the rocks are decorated with new seedlings nestled at their bases.

The animals are loving it!! The moment I let the chickens, ducks and geese out of their pens, they are busy nibbling fresh green grass and foraging for a new crop of insects. The chickens are laying again, lovely big eggs that furnish us with breakfast every morning.

The dry season lasted so long this time, leaving the earth sun-blasted and scorched, making a person thirsty every time they looked outside at the endless expanse of brown. I suppose it is similar to what my snowbound friends are feeling, wondering if Spring will ever arrive.

Thankfully it always does. Always.

It gives me courage to press on through the dry stretches, and to create my own lushness wherever I can.

This week it’s in my garden. Thanks to a ripping good sale at the nursery, I now have heaps of seedlings and trees to find homes for, hopefully ending up with lavish amounts of melons, zucchini, peppers, mulberries, pears, rhubarb, and herbs.

Bear and I have been eating rather lushly as well, making all sorts of delicious Middle Eastern fare: olives marinated in harissa spiced oil and a whole lot of dips that go beautifully with Turkish flatbread or cut up veggies.

I like to have a variety of dips to keep the flavors from getting predictable. Roasted Garlic Hummus is always a winner, while Dilled Carrot Dip provides a gentle, sweet variation to all the spice and heat. Our hands down favorite is a Red Bean Sun-Dried Tomato Dip spiced with paprika and chili powder with a splash of red wine vinegar to keep the flavors lively.

What “little pleasures” are making this season of your life easier? xo

Red Bean Sun-Dried Tomato Dip

Ingredients:

2 cans red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped roughly
1/2-3/4 cup beef bone broth
1 tsp red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp sea salt

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. Add more broth if necessary and season to taste.
  2. Serve at room temperature with pieces of Turkish flatbread, crackers, or raw veggies.

Roasted Garlic Hummus

Ingredients:

2 cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 Tbsp tahini
1 head roasted garlic (bake head of garlic at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes until insides are creamy), cloves removed
2-3 Tbsp ground cumin
1/4 extra virgin olive oil
juice of 1/2-1 lemon
1/2 tsp sea salt

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. Add more olive oil or lemon juice if necessary and season to taste.
  2. Serve at room temperature with pieces of Turkish flatbread, crackers, or raw veggies.

Carrot Dill Dip

Ingredients:

olive oil
1 onion, peeled, cored and diced
6 carrots, peeled and cut in chunks
1 tsp dried dill weed
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 cups chicken broth

Directions:

  1. In saucepan heat olive oil over medium heat, add onion pieces and cook, stirring occasionally until translucent.
  2. Add carrots, dill weed, and sea salt, add chicken broth and cook 15-20 minutes until carrots are soft enough to mush with a fork. Set aside to cool 10 minutes.
  3. Combine all ingredients in blender or food processor. Blend until smooth.
  4. Serve at room temperature with pieces of Turkish flatbread, crackers, or raw veggies.
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GourmetGetaway - YUM!
I always make a white bean dip and a hommus and I am getting very tired of both… the red bean dip looks fantastic as does the carrot and dill… I can’t wait to try them out, lovely colour in the carrot dip too!

Krista - Thank you, @tandysinclair:disqus 🙂 We are quite partial to them. 🙂

Tandy Sinclair - these dips all sound yummy!

Krista - Oh, thank you, dear @disqus_WseMqaTPwi:disqus XO

Krista - I hope so much that we DO get more rain, @disqus_v9uRgGTGfe:disqus 🙂 Ahhh, you’re fellow dip lovers! 🙂

Jackie Smith - I so love my visits with you!

Maureen Shaw - I’m so glad you got rain. You might get some more! We eat our weight in dips every month I think. I’ll give yours a try next. They look really yummy!

Krista - I just bought mandarins yesterday too, @disqus_xRgkTDNCQJ:disqus 🙂 They are SO beautiful and wonderful. 🙂

When Green Returns - […] Ground that was parched and brown now shimmers with lime and emerald, and even the rocks are decorated with …read more […]

Nancy - Such beautiful plates and so much colour. Mandarins are my pleasure at the moment – they are so sweet and addictive I have a plate of them sitting on the coffee table just at arms reach.

Krista - I hope you like them, @disqus_2yjJojmJOE:disqus 🙂 They’re definitely staples in our house when I don’t feel like cooking. 🙂

Krista - I haven’t met any Aussies who like spicy foods, @wanderingsheila:disqus 🙂 Maybe it’s something in the water? 😉

Krista - It DOES make everything so delicious, @lizposmyk:disqus 🙂

Krista - Thank you, @AndiPerullo:disqus 🙂

Margaret | DestinationHere&Now - I’m trying these. Always on the lookout for good simple food like this. So versatile.

Cathy - They all look great Krista. My spice-o-meter has greatly increased during my marriage 😉

Liz Posmyk - Ah, the wonder of the rain and how it makes everything so delicious! A lovely post, Krista.

Andi Perullo de Ledesma - Such gorgeous pics!!!

Krista - Thank you! XO

Krista - I’m with you on the hummus, @breannemosher:disqus . I love it but have to keep adding new flavors to keep it interesting. 🙂 Your Spring reminders sound absolutely wonderful!! I have red carnations on my table at the moment and I love them so much. 🙂

Krista - It does, Tracy! 🙂 I keep stopping when I pass a window so shocked by the green view. 🙂

Krista - I would love to have you sitting in my garden one day, @jenny_atasteoftravel:disqus 🙂

Breanne @ This Vintage Moment - Oh my goodness, all the colour! Those dips look perfect for these winter days, we love hummus but it can get a little predictable. I’ll be trying the red bean dip soon! Today, I’m savouring hot tea, bright blue sky and fresh flowers from the grocery store and these reminders that Spring will come. =) XO

Tracy A. - It shoes seem a miracle when green suddenly replaces brown!

jenny_atasteoftravel - A little bit of rain in Summer is wonderful! The chooks must be in heaven…just as I would be sitting out there eating your Turkish dips that would remind me of fabulous days in Turkey.

budgetjan - You would definitely be welcome Krista 🙂

Krista - Oh, that sounds like such a beautiful place to eat, @budgetjan:disqus 🙂 If I lived nearby I’d hustle on over with a basket full of food to share. 🙂

Krista - Only the red bean one is spicy, @Kayrpea61:disqus , and even it isn’t bad at all. Bear HATES spicy things but he gobbled these up without a complaint. 🙂

budgetjan - Rain is wonderful, we are getting some at home now. Our yard which suffered during our last trip away is back in fine form. When family and friends come over we shift the chairs out from beneath the entertaining area roof and into the garden. I put our old square cane table in amongst the chairs with a bright cover to hide it’s previous lives. I can just imagine it spread with your delicious dips – and turkish break of course 🙂

Ken Powell - Too hot for me, I’m afraid!

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