I tend to think of any dip or spread involving mashed avocado as enhanced guacamole. This avocado dip in Mark Bittman's new VB6 Cookbook is no exception—and that's not a bad thing. Loaded up with tomatillos, cilantro, lime juice, jalapeños, and a bit of silken tofu for even more creamy texture, this vibrant snack still has the heartbeat of my favorite chip-topper. Bittman continues to give the snack a makeover by suggesting that we use radishes in lieu of less-healthy tortilla chips. While the radishes may seem like a concession, they're actually a brilliant vessel for the dip, since they add fresh spiciness and ultra crisp texture to each bite.
Why I picked this recipe: Bittman had me at the word avocado.
What worked: Consider me a radish+dip convert.
What didn't: If you have anything less than a high-powered blender, I'd suggest making the dip in a food processor. There's not much liquid here to keep old-school blenders happy.
Suggested tweaks: I'm not convinced that you really need the silken tofu here. Yes, it adds some belly-filling protein, but I'm sure the dip would be just as satisfying without it. Plus, I think it's annoying to use such a small portion of the package.
Reprinted with permission from The VB6 Cookbook: More than 350 Recipes for Healthy Vegan Meals All Day and Delicious Flexitarian Dinners at Night by Mark Bittman. Copyright 2014. Published by Clarkson Potter, a division of Random House. All rights reserved. Available wherever books are sold.
- 2 pounds radishes, preferably with greens attached
- 1 large avocado, halved and pitted
- 2 ounces silken tofu (1/4 cup)
- 1 small bunch fresh cilantro, tender stems and leaves
- 1 garlic clove, smashed
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 1 fresh hot chile (like jalapeño), seeded
- 5 or 6 tomatillos, husks removed
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Scrub the radishes well and trim off the bottoms and greens, leaving about 1 inch of the stems attached if you’re using whole radishes so there’s something to hold when you dip. Put them in the fridge to chill.
Scoop the avocado flesh into a blender and add the tofu, cilantro, garlic, lime juice, chile, tomatillos, and salt in a blender; puree until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides of the container as needed. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
To serve, transfer the mixture to a shallow bowl and serve with the radishes on the side.
Variations: Charred Tomatillo Dip
Before blending the ingredients, turn on the broiler and set the rack 4 inches from the heat source. Broil the tomatillos, garlic, and jalapeño for a few minutes, turning once, until charred. Remove the garlic as soon as it’s toasted to avoid a bitter taste. Let the ingredients cool, then proceed with the recipe.
Put 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, minced instead, and 2 cups of spinach; sauté until wilted. Remove the spinach and garlic from the pan and let cool. Substitute lemon juice for the lime juice and skip the jalapeño and cilantro. Top with chopped tomatoes and scallions.
Curried Mango Dip
Use a mango instead of the avocado and add 2 teaspoons curry powder to the blender before pureeing. Serve with the radishes or with cucumber spears.
More Ideas: Other options for dippers: carrot, celery, kohlrabi, or jícama sticks.