Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Pan-Asian Avocado Dip

pan-asian avocado dip recipe


Memorial Day is the day we celebrate the arrival of summer. I know it's officially a few weeks away, but we just . cannot . wait. And what better way to celebrate the most fun and relaxing season of the year than with an al fresco cocktail and grilled food? This time of year we get reacquainted with some old familiar faces:  this crunchy, colorful  Summer Asian Slaw  and this savory, sweet and spicy Thai Barbecue Sauce that is best enjoyed as a marinade and a dipping sauce for anything you like: grilled tofu, shrimp or even chicken {for Mr SSS}. With the addition of a second vegetable side and an appetizer - this is my go-to barbecue menu. 

This year's appetizer was something of a dare for myself, I must admit. I love Asian food {can you tell?} and I love avocado, scallions, wasabi and lime, but this dip recipe also calls for pickled ginger. I just wasn't sure about that because I don't like pickled ginger - you know that shaved pink stuff that everyone is supposed to enjoy as a palate cleanser in between rounds of sushi? I decided to go ahead and "trust the chef" as I love the cookbook from which this recipe comes. And along the way I learned three things: 1}identifiable pickled ginger - slices of fresh ginger root, not that pink stuff - is available at the market in a jar and it tastes like ginger; 2} don't say you won't like something without having tried it and 3} this dip is utterly addictive - the two of us nearly polished it off and if my math skills serve me correctly, that is one avocado, per capita.  Geez.

The chef says this dip is inspired by his travels to Hawaii and he suggests that it be served with potato chips {which would be fab -  I served it with tortilla chips} or raw vegetables. I have an idea I am going to run with when I entertain next...a one-bite appetizer: sliced cucumbers dressed with a smear of this dip and a dot of Srirachi sauce. 

Pan-Asian Avocado Dip

2 large ripe Haas avocados
1/4 c pickled ginger, chopped {the kind I described or the pink stuff if you prefer}
1/4 c low- fat Greek yogurt
1 T wasabi powder
2 scallions {white and light green part only}, thinly sliced
2 T toasted sesame seeds
2 T fresh lime juice
kosher salt, to taste

Cut the avocados in half, remove pits and scrape pulp into a small bowl. Mash the pulp coarsely using the back of a fork. 

In another bowl, combine the remaining ingredients {plus 1/4 t of salt} using a whisk to create a smooth, lump-free consistency. Stir the mixture into the mashed avocado. Now taste and if you'd like to add more salt, let how you will be serving this dip be your guide - are you pairing it with salted chips or tortillas or un-salty fresh vegetables?

{This dip can be made up to two hours in advance. To prevent browning: place one of the pits in the center of the dip, cover with plastic wrap, pressing it on the surface of the dip and refrigerate.}

Makes 2 cups.  

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Source: Adapted from Dinner At The Authentic Cafe.

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