Raw veggies on supermarket trays aren't exactly tempting, but if you blanch the veggies first, they become colorful and irresistible, especially when paired with a creamy fresh dip you make yourself.
Snow and snap peas
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup grated parmesan
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp. minced fresh parsley
2 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
1 tsp. anchovy paste
Freshly ground black pepper
Broccoli and cauliflower
1. Slice down through the main stem and out through the buds producing one-inch florets with two-inch stems.
2. Blanch for 1 to 1-1/2 minutes in boiling salted water.
1. Slice peeled carrots in half lengthwise, then with the side flat to the board, slice each half into three long, elegant pieces.
2. Blanch first, for 15 seconds.
Snow and Snap Peas
1. Using a paring knife, remove the string that runs along the straight edge of the pod.
2. Blanch for 15 seconds, right after you do the carrots.
1. In a medium bowl stir together all ingredients.
2. Transfer dip to serving bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate to blend flavors, at least one hour before serving.
3. Serve cold. (Can be made up to two days ahead of time.)
Fresh Herb Dip
1. Substitute 1/2 cup minced fresh herbs (tarragon, chives, parsley) for the Parmesan cheese and delete the anchovy paste.
1. Substitute 1/2 cup feta cheese and 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint for the cheese and parsley, omit anchovy paste and garlic.
1. Omit Parmesan and anchovy, add three canned chipotle chiles in adobo, minced to a paste, plus a little abodo sauce.
2. Use lime zest and juice instead of lemon.