As spring approaches, we find ourselves anxious to use up last year’s harvest. In the cabinet we found a big bag of sun-dried tomatoes from our 2013 garden. This dip is the perfect recipe – it weaves basil and sun-dried tomatoes with a blend of Italian seasonings and is great with veggies, chips or as a sandwich spread. The soaked sunflowers and black olives give it a creamy texture and the lemon juice brings a pop of freshness just right for April snacking! Oh, it’s gluten-free, too.
1 cup shelled sunflower seeds
12 to 15 sun-dried tomatoes
1 Tbl. olive oil
2 cloves garlic
6 black olives, pitted
1/8 cup fresh basil leaves
2 Tbl. lemon juice
1 tsp. Italian spice blend
salt and pepper, to taste
Soak sunflower seeds in 1 cup of water for 2 to 8 hours. Overnight is fine. Drain before beginning rest of dip instructions.
Before starting recipe, soak sundried tomatoes in 1/2 cup warm water and 1 Tbl. olive oil for 20 minutes to an hour. Reserve liquid to add to dip as needed when tomatoes are strained.
Add garlic, olives, lemon juice and basil leaves to a food processor or high-powered blender. Process until all pieces are small, scraping down sides as needed. Add soaked sunflower seeds, soaked sun-dried tomatoes, salt/pepper and Italian spice blend. As you process, and scrape the sides, the dip will become creamy and soft. If a smoother texture is desired, add liquid from tomato soaking a spoonful at a time. Normally one or two spoons will do the job. If you want a more liquid dip – like to make this into a dressing for salads, add more of the soaking fluid.
This dip gets better overnight in the fridge, but we can rarely keep it around long enough to extend much beyond that! Um, yes, both of us HAVE eaten it with a spoon…
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