Is anybody else annoyed by dips that are called “guacamole” solely because they are green? Recently, I’ve seen edamame guacamole, pea and parsley guacamole, and my favorite–broccomole. (Really?) Don’t get me wrong–these dips are probably all outstanding. And sure, the fat and calorie counts are probably lower than traditional guacamole. But, I’m sorry, it just isn’t guacamole unless it involves avocados.
This stance is why I was both peeved and intrigued when my local paper printed a recipe for asparagus guacamole. I read the recipe because I thought it would be an avocado-based dip with asparagus added in. Not so; again with the green dip misnomer. But the ingredient list was intriguing. With some substantial adaptation and a name change, I’ve made a springtime dip that is sure to be a hit at any get together. I served it with crackers because that evening’s meal already featured homemade rolls, but I think it’d be fantastic with some crostini rubbed with a little raw garlic or even as a spread on a sandwich or in a pita.
Asparagus-Goat Cheese Dip
inspired by Chef Andy Broder
3 TBSP olive oil, divided
1 lb. asparagus, each stalk cut into thirds
3 cloves garlic, sliced and divided
zest of 1/2 lemon
1 TBSP lemon juice
4 oz. chevre or other soft goat cheese
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/4 c. red onion, diced
1 TBSP fresh parsley, minced
salt and pepper, to taste
1. Preheat a skillet over medium heat. Add 2 TBSP oil, asparagus, 2 cloves worth of garlic, and salt and pepper, to taste. Sauté just until asparagus turns bright green, 2-3 minutes depending on thickness of stalks.
2. Place asparagus, along with oil and garlic, in a food processor. Allow to cool slightly, then add raw garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, and chevre. Process until mixture reaches a consistent texture. Pour into a medium bowl.
3. While asparagus mixture cools slightly in processor, add remaining TBSP oil, bell pepper, and onion to the same skillet. Sauté until pepper and onion begin to soften, 2-3 minutes.
4. Gently fold pepper mixture, along with oil, and parsley into asparagus mixture. Taste and adjust seasoning, as desired. Refrigerate in an airtight container at least one hour. Bring back to room temperature and stir before serving. Serves 6 as an appetizer.