This is actually a veggies and dip recipe. The only difference how it is plated and a little bit of extra tip I am going to share with you that will elevate the dish to another level.
When I get some tiny and really pretty vegetables I always feel it is a sin to ruin them with any kind of cooking. I can highly recommend you keep them as well and enjoy all the benefits of raw vegetable. Unless you have some digestion problem and you do need to blanch them. So these are the vegetables and edible flowers I used in this dish to create a plate that you first eat with your eyes and then you immerse in the freshness of vegetables and herbs.
You can add any kinds of vegetables to a crudites plate. Crudites is a French term and it means raw sliced vegetables served with some kind of dip. I would suggest in this case definitely use radish, cucumber, cherry tomatoes and even california pepper. They are really good with this whipped dip. If you want to create a nice plate you need to cut and slice your vegetables into different shapes and thickness to give your dish a diverse look and texture. You can also serve it simply just cutting the vegetables into similar size and serve with a bowl of dip.
The vegetables, herbs, leaves on this plate
- cherry tomatoe
- salad brunett leaves
- borage flower
- tarragon flower
- mixed micro greens
For the dip (not vegan)
In a deep bowl mix 2:1 portion of farmers cheese and really good quality strong sheep/goat feta cheese. Add 1-2 tablespoon of sour cream and with a fork mix it and try and whip it a little bit, giving it a fluffier texture which will work very well with the raw vegetables. Once it is done, season it with 1 clove minced garlic, salt, ground black pepper, ground caraway and hot Hungarian paprika f you like heat (or any other ground chili or paprika) Also add chopped chives, green onions and parsley and mix thoroughly.
To make your dip vegan the only thing you will have to do is to make a fermented cheese and that will replace the feta here. I made a fermented cheese using cashew and almonds and after fermenting in my kitchen cabinet for 2 days I let it age in the fridge for 5 days. Not longer because I didn’t want it to harden too much. This resulted in a stronger taste which made it more similar to a nice feta.
Ingredients and instructions for fermented, aged feta like cheese
- 1/2 cup soaked cashews
- 1/2 cup soaked almonds
- 2 tbsp water
- 1 acidophilus capsule or replace the water with 2 tbsp rejuvelac
Mix all the ingredient in a blender. Place the mixture on a piece of cheesecloth and wrap tightly. Ferment in the kitchen cabinet for 2 days without opening the door.
After 2 days check if your cheese looks good and make sure there is no mold. It should have a nice crust and smell fermented.
Put it in your fridge to age 3-5 days. Do not leave longer because aging not only changes the taste but also makes the cheese firmer. Here you will need a texture that can be spread.
After the aging take your cheese out from the fridge, put in a bowl and mix it well with
- 1 clove minced garlic
- 1/2 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon paprika, or 1/2 teaspoon hot paprika (or chili or cayenne pepper)
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground or whole caraway seeds
- 1 tablespoon mixed, chopped chives and parsley
- 1-2 tablespoon almond milk to adjust texture to spreadable (use any vegan yogurt if you have it)
To plate the individual crudite plates place a spoonful of cheese spread on the plate, with the back of the spoon spread it slightly on the plate. Place any kinds of vegetables, micro herbs on top.
And this is the point where my extra tip comes in. I actually really like fruit with savory dishes and vegetables. So what I did here when I was ready to eat, I smashed a few boysenberries, added a few drops of lemon juice and just sprinkled it over the veggies. You can use blackberries or youngberries instead of the boysenberries.
The dip and the boysenberry was just a real match made in heaven.