Edamame Dip with Asian Flavors

A simple spread


I have a tendency to wait until the last minute to get things done. I usually chalk it up to my spontaneous nature, but I know it’s really a symptom of literally having too many things on my plate.

Last night we had some friends over for dinner, and as usual, I left the idea of an appetizer up in the air. Coming up with the perfect little nibble before the main meal is served can be tricky – you don’t want to put out too much food since it’s better to keep your guests a tiny bit hungry, but at the same time, there should be something available to help absorb the alcohol from the welcoming cocktail or first glass of wine. Plus there’s always some other thing that needs to be done, like making salad dressing or setting the table.

I usually solve the problem by putting out little dishes of olives or roasted, spiced nuts. They’re both satisfyingly salty, not too filling and will please the vegetarians and omnivores alike. But after going through my freezer yesterday and finding some half-full bags of peas and edamame, I thought I’d use them up to serve with crackers when our friends arrived.

This turned out to be a great idea – I created a quick, last minute homemade appetizer recipe instead of serving the usual tub of hummus dip, with most of the ingredients already on hand in the freezer and pantry. It could be that we were all hungry, but this disappeared in no time.

Edamame Spread with Asian Flavors

8 ounces frozen, shelled edamame
8 ounces frozen peas
1/4 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons tamari or soy sauce
1 crushed garlic clove
1 teaspoon wasabi powder dissolved in water
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Fresh lemon juice, to taste
Fine sea salt, to taste

Drop the edamame and peas in a medium saucepan of generously salted boiling water.

Cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Scoop out about 1/4 cup of the cooking water before draining.

Puree the edamame and peas together in a food processor along with the remaining ingredients, adding water 1 tablespoon at a time as needed to make a smooth, creamy consistency.

Sprinkle a little more cayenne over the spread before serving with rice crackers or flatbread.

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