Avocado, Spinach, and Pickled Jalapeño Dip

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One year, someone requested I make a nondairy “green” dip for Passover. Challenge accepted, especially because I loved the idea of something colorful and fresh, and somewhat nutritious for the holiday. Avocado, with its luscious flavor and texture and appealing color, called to me as the base.

A simple mixture of avocado, spinach (for more green and nutritiousness), lime juice, and oil was a good start. To that I added flat-leaf Italian parsley for its bright, herbal notes and a generous amount of roasted garlic for accenting flavor and a hint of creaminess without making the dip overly garlicky. I also wanted to include jalapenos, but knowing their raw heat would be too much, I quickly pickled them first. That added just the right pepper flavor and zing without overwhelming heat.

With a few quick whirs in a blender, these ingredients become a smooth, irresistible vegan dip (which can also be thinned and used as a sauce). It goes well with mild vegetables like celery, endive leaves, and cucumber. For a crunchier dipper, I brushed plain Passover crackers with olive oil and sprinkled them with southwestern seasonings before baking them in the oven. The warm, flavorful crackers proved pretty addictive and a fitting partner for the dip (and when not Passover, you could doctor any plain cracker this way).



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