All hosts need an hors d’oeuvre to accompany drinks. This bright-green dip for pita chips or crudites has a yogurt base with plenty of spinach, basil, parsley, and mint. Blanch the spinach and basil leaves first and squeeze them dry so there’s no excess liquid (if you want to use baby spinach, cut the cooking time to 30 seconds and don’t bother to stem it). A little mayonnaise added to the yogurt sweetens the mixture slightly.
|2||cups packed fresh basil leaves|
|½||pound fresh spinach, stems removed|
|½||cup packed fresh parsley leaves|
|¼||cup packed fresh mint leaves|
|1||small clove garlic, chopped|
|1||teaspoon grated lemon rind|
|2||teaspoons lemon juice|
|Salt and pepper, to taste|
|3||tablespoons olive oil|
|1||cup Greek yogurt|
|Extra basil or mint leaves (for garnish)|
1. Have on hand a bowl of ice water.
2. Set a skillet filled with ½ inch of water over high heat. Bring to a boil. Add the basil and cook, turning the leaves with tongs, for 10 seconds. Use a slotted spoon or tongs to transfer the basil to the ice water. Drain in a colander. With your hands, squeeze out the excess water and place the basil on a cutting board.
3. Add the spinach to the skillet and cook, turning with tongs, for 2 to 3 minutes, or until wilted and tender. Drain in the colander and rinse with cold tap water to cool. With your hands, squeeze out the excess water. Add the spinach to the basil and chop both coarsely.
4. In a food processor, work the spinach, basil, parsley, mint, scallions, garlic, lemon rind and juice, and a generous pinch of salt and pepper until the mixture is finely chopped. Add the oil and pulse a few times to blend it.
5. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and stir in the yogurt and mayonnaise until thoroughly blended. Taste for seasoning, and add more salt and pepper, if you like.
6. Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and chill for 1 hour for the flavors to mellow. Garnish with basil or mint. Lisa ZwirnLisa Zwirn can be reached at email@example.com.