Lisa was a potluck veteran. She believed that the best food to bring in a potluck should be what people enjoy eating. She said that there was nothing more depressing than seeing your dish untouched on a picnic table. Lisa would always bring comfort food, greasy snacks, and cupcakes.
She said these are her dependable go-to potluck staples that fly off the tables.
When Lisa decided to undergo weight loss surgery, she avoided potlucks like a plague. It was understandable for the first few months post-op because of her food limitations, however, I told her that eventually, she could still attend and bring healthy items that not only she can eat, but others would enjoy too. Lisa was not convinced. According to her, whenever there were healthy options, nobody liked to eat these at all. She remembered one of her neighbors bringing veggie sticks and some store-bought dip and nobody even touched these. She also said she did not want to be the potluck party pooper by bringing something only she would be able to eat.
I was sort of inspired and challenged by her saying that nobody liked the dip her neighbor brought so I tried coming up with a yummy vegetable based dip that people can enjoy in any potluck. I gave Lisa the recipe which would go well with crispy baked fish fingers or even BBQ chicken pieces.
I suggested a protein for the dip because I do understand that veggie sticks are not very appetizing when sat beside cheeseburgers or spaghetti and meatballs. But if coupled with a healthy protein like fish, chicken or shrimp, it would be an enjoyable dish everyone would love.
This creamy dip is prepared using cauliflower as a base. I boiled the cauliflower in this recipe prior to mixing, but if you want a smokier taste, you can add an extra step after boiling or steaming and char it on the barbecue before blending.
I also recommend placing the dip in an attractive colorful dish, and top it with olive oil and fresh parsley to make it more appealing to guests.
Cauliflower Cream Dip
- 1 medium head of cauliflower (about 2 pounds), florets and stem cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 garlic clove, peeled
- 1/4 cup olive oil, divided, plus more for serving
- 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons salt, divided
- 3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- Coarsely chopped parsley (for serving)
- Baby romaine hearts and endive leaves (for serving)
Cook cauliflower florets with the garlic in a saucepan filled with water. Cover the pan and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook for about 10 minutes or until florets are soft and can be easily pierced by a knife. Drain excess water and set aside. You can also steam in the microwave by placing in a bowl and covering it with a plastic wrap, pierced with holes as vents.
On a separate pan, sauté onion, cumin and salt with 2 tbsp. of oil. Cook over medium heat until onions turn golden brown.
Get a blender and put in the onion mixture with the yogurt, lemon zest and juice, as well as the cauliflower and salt. Puree until smooth. Then with the blender still running, pour in oil through the blender opening. Add it in a slow stream until well combined. If you feel that the mixture is too thick, add in water 1 tbsp. at a time until you reach the desired consistency.
To serve, top with olive oil and fresh parsley.