the taste space

Cranberry Lemon Tahini Dip (with Kentucky Wonder Beans)

Posted in Favourites, Sides by janet @ the taste space on September 10, 2012

Our friends came over for a “Stress Free Friday” gathering. A chance to get together, chat, play games and such.

However, one of our friends forgot to write down our house number… but found our house without any trouble. Follow the kale and collards!, he told us. We are the only ones growing them on our street! :)

It has been a while since I’ve shared a garden update.

The good news: We are now harvesting green beans! Both Romano beans and Kentucky Wonder beans. I thought we weren’t going to get anything except for leaves (too much nitrogen?), but once Rob placed the tomato rings, the plants finally had something to hold onto and they shot up with tons of blossoms. And then over to our neighbour, too!

Last year, I only ever harvested a handful of beans at a time. While I kept a handful of dried pods so that I could plant them this year, I felt so sad, never having enough to make a real green bean dish. Not so, this year. I have harvested over 2 lbs so far. All in the span of a week. That may not sound like a lot but I am quickly  going through my favourite green bean recipes. I am also being quite vigilant about my harvesting since if you leave the beans on the plant too long, they will become bitter.

Our herbs and collards are still growing strong. Except the basil, it grew too strong, too fast and I missed its lovely basil prime time. Now it is too zingy for me. I am definitely going back to the Pesto Perpetuo basil next year. I grew it last year and it never bolted. The only downside was that the leaves are smaller.

The not so bad news: My dinosaur kale plants have this funny white bug on them. It has been there a while, and I used to just clean it off before I ate it. However, now it looks like the poor plants are suffering.  Anyone know what it could be and a natural way to remove them?

The ugly news: After all our efforts with the kabocha squash plants, they all died. I saved 2 squashes but I think the bugs got to them first. Boo. My zucchini plant hasn’t made any zucchinis either. Am I squash-cursed?

Now onto the food:

The good news: I am on a dolma kick. I made some kick-ass dolmas that I will share soon.

The not so bad news: I made a cranberry lemon tahini dip to go with said super fabulous dolmas. The cranberry lemon tahini dip was also super delicious. But somehow, super fabulous + super delicious did not make super super fabulous delicious. Instead they clashed. Both the dolmas (spiced with allspice, cinnamon and cherries!!) and the dip (cranberry, lemon, tahini) had strong flavours that didn’t work out so well together. However, separate, still very good.

At first, I thought the dip was a bit too sweet from the cranberries, so I added more lemon. The tahini adds a decadent silkiness to the dip. After an overnight chill in the refrigerator, it was perfect. I hummed and hawed over what to do with my dip now that I didn’t want it with my dolmas. Throw it into a collard wrap? Smother it onto broccoli slaw with some tempeh?

My brain went all fancy. My hands went simple. I took the freshly picked green beans and scooped up the dip. No adornments needed. Just crisp veggies. Serve this sweet dip with your favourite veggies and crackers… or go fancy and make me jealous. :)

This is being submitted to this week’s Weekend Herb Blogging, hosted by Graziana, to this week’s Raw Food Thursdays, to this week’s Healthy Vegan Fridays and to this week’s Weekend Wellness.

Cranberry Lemon Tahini Dip
Adapted from Vegan Yum Yum (original recipe here)

1/4 cup tahini
1/4 cup dried cranberries (consider soaking them, I didn’t but liked the sweet chunks in the dip)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup water, or more to thin to your desired consistency

1. In a blender, blend all together until it is smooth and creamy. I still had a few specks of chopped cranberries in mine which I liked.

Makes 1 cup.

17 Responses

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  1. Gabby @ the veggie nook said, on September 10, 2012 at 7:45 AM

    This is so different Janet! I would NEVER think to put dried cranberries in a dip, unless I was making a dessert dip. Your creativity is just ridiculous :)

    Sorry to hear about all the bugs. I have no green thumb whatsoever so I can’t offer any advice there. Hope you figure something out!

    • janet @ the taste space said, on September 10, 2012 at 12:14 PM

      It is funny because I have never even thought to make a dessert dip. I have seen some interesting cookie dough chickpea dips but have yet to try them…. oooh, now I will investigate them! :)

  2. Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table said, on September 10, 2012 at 8:58 AM

    I can’t wait for the dolma recipes!!! I’m on a huge ethnic food kick right now!

    Let the cranberry recipes begin!

  3. Flavors of the Sun said, on September 10, 2012 at 10:22 AM

    What an original and interesting recipe. I love this combination. Thanks for sharing.

    • janet @ the taste space said, on September 10, 2012 at 12:15 PM

      Thank you! I never would have thought to put them together in a dip but it was nice. Let me know if you try it. :)

  4. Eileen said, on September 10, 2012 at 2:27 PM

    Using tomato cages for viny vegetables is one of my favorite tricks! I have a cucumber plant climbing one as we speak. This dip sounds great–tangy and sweet and nutty all at once. :)

  5. Joanne said, on September 10, 2012 at 8:59 PM

    I tried combining cranberries with hummus a few years ago and just wasn’t happy with the results…but I’ll have to try your version!

    I’m so sorry to hear about your kale and the white bugs! I hope you figure out they are so you can salvage it!

  6. [...] made the cranberry-lemon-tahini dip for the dolmas but I didn’t find it needed a dip. In fact, the sweet on sweet clashed. If you [...]

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  8. Johanna GGG said, on September 15, 2012 at 9:27 AM

    love seeing the photo of your front yard – the kale and chard looks really pretty! Our kale grew some well and then suddenly was eaten to the core but some bug – I was most displeased! Love your simple meal – sounds fantastic and just right for summer which is around the corner here

  9. [...] the frost is still at bay and I continue to harvest green beans. My greens (kale and collards) will only improve after a frost, so I am letting them continue to [...]

  10. [...] veggies are exciting me these days, too. Squashes galore.  Garden fresh green beans and kale. My current infatuation is with [...]

  11. [...] I planted basil this summer, I didn’t use very much of it. It bolted before I knew what I wanted to do with it. My Pesto Perpetuo basil, a non-bolting basil, from two [...]

  12. [...] seedlings gave us better results. She also asked for some pictures. As I dug up some of my garden updates, I re-read my posts and uncovered other golden nuggets: tomato cages for the beans! get rid of [...]

  13. [...] 1. We learn by gardening. Wherever we live, we’re the house with (edible) kale and collards in the front yard. [...]

  14. […] This is just a quick post. With Tablet photos, to boot. In case you are as delighted as I am with my garden. […]


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