I am always looking for simple, yet impressive things to serve as a first course, or for party snacking. These two dips fit the bill and only require a food processor to make it all happen. See the recipes for Green Pea Hummus and Beet Cream Cheese Dip below. I liked serving them together for a eye-catching contrast, with baby carrots, zucchini sticks, and a baguette cut into small rounds. In addition to the two dips, I served a prosecco cocktail with rhubarb syrup, to tie in with the springtime theme. (see recipe at this link)

hobnobmag Pretty Vegetable Party Dips

Green Pea Hummus: A Spring Party Dip with Fresh Color

This is a simple early spring recipe, which echoes the pretty green that’s blooming all around. Adding the cooked peas adds not only a sweet green tone, but freshens up the flavor a bit. It’s a sweet twist to ordinary hummus. To simplify the process, get already cooked peas from a salad bar, like I did. Otherwise, thaw frozen peas. The cilantro gives it a nice herbal kick and a little bit more green hue. Make this at least 4 hours ahead of serving so the flavors meld. It’s even better the next day.

MAKES 1 1/2 CUPS

PREPARE THE GARLIC

5 cloves garlic, cut in half

Sauté garlic in a little olive oil over a low flame to remove the raw taste, about 3 min until lightly browned.

GET OUT THE FOOD PROCESSOR… MAKE THE DIP

1 bag (15 oz) Fig Food Organic Chickpeas, drained and rinsed, extra skins removed
1/2 CUP cooked peas
2 TB tahini
sautéed garlic halves
1/2 CUP cilantro, coarsely chopped
3 TB fresh lemon juice
2 TB extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
pinch of cayenne pepper
1/3 CUP water

Garnish: sunflower seeds, flaxseeds, poppy seeds (or reserve a few peas to sprinkle on top to indicate what’s inside)

Serve with: zucchini sticks, carrot sticks, or small rounds of bread

Combine all the ingredients until completely smooth. If it seems dry, add a little bit more water. Transfer to small bowls and put out with your veggie and bread accompaniments.

hobnobmag Pretty Vegetable Party Dips

Beet Cream Cheese Dip: Sweet and Spice Unite

Opposites attract, and placing this dip with the pea hummus on your party table certainly adds a splash of color and will pique your guests’ curiosity. The sweetness of the beets pairs wonderfully with the luscious texture of the cream cheese, but the additions of the feta, dill and cumin take it up a few notches in the flavor category. To make it extra rich, use only the block cream cheese, to keep light, use only the whipped cream cheese. Make this at least 4 hours ahead of serving so the flavors meld. It’s even better the next day. I made double this recipe for my party, so had some leftover. It was spectacular the next day topping a grilled pork chop or as a dip with carrots for a light lunch.

MAKES 1 1/2 CUPS

GET OUT THE FOOD PROCESSOR… MAKE THE DIP

1 bag (8.8 oz) Love Beets Organic Cooked Beets, roughly chopped
1 TB EV olive oil
4 oz whipped cream cheese, at room temperature
1/4 packet Philadelphia Cream Cheese, at room temperature
4 TB feta
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp dried dill
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

Garnish: sunflower seeds, flaxseeds, poppy seeds

Serve with: zucchini sticks, carrot sticks, or small rounds of bread

Place all ingredients, in a food processor and blend until smooth. Top with seeds and serve alongside your preferred dipping accompaniments.