Bam! 2017 is definitely stacking up with projects, and my blog is already feeling the effect. I am supremely thankful for the work, but I still feel a little guilty when I can’t get you a new recipe in the most timely fashion. 😉 Fear not! Right now, I have a healthy, flavorful snack to tide you over. This Creamy Cauliflower Pesto Dip is easy-to-make and great for parties.
Rich dips and sauces are my jam, but even I need to switch it up with a lighter snack, every so often. Using cauliflower and potatoes as the base in this dip is excellent for lightening the density, while adding in all kinds of nutrients. I added some raw cashews to soften the taste of the cauliflower, while still leaving this recipe oil-free. Yes, even the pesto!
In my garden, I have a lot of arugula growing, which has been super awesome. This cold weather (having an actual winter in Southern CA is weird) has been great for my greens! So, I used mostly arugula for my pesto, though spinach will also work well. Also, I tried something new-to-me, with my go-to pesto recipe! My friend Christian had mentioned that old school, vegan pesto recipes usually had a bit of miso paste in them. This replaced the umami that parmesan brings to traditional pesto recipes.
How ingenious is that? I can’t believe that was my first time hearing of this! That being said, I tried it out in this recipe and loved it. I will definitely be doing this from now on. Depending on your allergies/preferences, either chickpea miso or white miso paste will work!
I’d like to add that I prefer this Creamy Cauliflower Pesto Dip served hot, like right after you process the creamy base. But, you can eat it cold, as well. Just know that it will be more like a spread, which is great on your avocado toast.
Creamy Cauliflower Pesto Dip
This Creamy Cauliflower Pesto Dip is oil-free, dairy-free, vegan and delicious! It makes for a great, healthy appetizer for parties, or just to snack on.
Creamy Cauliflower Base
- 1/2 cup raw cashews , soaked in hot water for 15 minutes, drained
- 1 1/2 cups chopped cauliflower florets
- 1 1/2 cups chopped and peeled, yukon gold potatoes
- 1/2 cup chopped white onion
- 1/2 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt , or to taste
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 cup slivered almonds , toasted
- 2 cups baby arugula , or a mix of arugula and spinach
- 1 1/2 cups fresh basil
- 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon chickpea miso paste , white miso will also work
- Salt & pepper , to taste
Soak your raw cashews in hot water, for 15-30 minutes, to soften them. Meanwhile, steam the cauliflower, potatoes and onion for 10-15 minutes, or until very tender.
While the veggies are steaming, place all pesto ingredients in a food processor and pulse until the mixture is mostly smooth. With the pieces like small grains of sand. You may need to scrape down the sides a couple of times.
Place pesto in the bottom of a medium-sized serving bowl. Rinse out food processor, place cashews, steamed veggies and non-dairy milk inside, then puree until completely smooth.
Add nutritional yeast, onion powder, salt and pepper to the puree, and pulse until combined. Taste and add more S&P if necessary.
Pour cauli-cream over the pesto and swirl together with a spoon. Top with toasted, slivered almonds and serve. Goes well with pita chips, bagel crisps, and the like!
Other tips for the Creamy Cauliflower Pesto Dip:
- If you want to give the cauliflower base a little tang and extra creaminess, try using unsweetened non-dairy yogurt instead of non-dairy milk!
- Don’t have miso on hand? Don’t worry, the pesto is still excellent without it.
Make sure you don’t miss the next couple of recipes coming to VYA! (Pudding and truffles, anyone?)