VEGETABLE GARDEN WITH SOIL AND DIP
This whimsical appetizer is a very homemade version of Rene Redzepi‚Äôs (chef/owner Noma in Copenhagen) made with local ingredients. So cute to pick the vegetables out of the "soil".
Makes 6 servings
- 1 cup toasted hazelnuts
- 4 cups rye bread cubes (about 8oz)
- 2 tbsp sunflower seeds, optional
- 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds, optional
- 1 tbsp black sesame seeds, optional
- 1/4 cup melted unsalted butter or unprocessed sunflower oil
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 2 tsp sugar
- herb dip:
- 8 oz ricotta (preferably buffalo milk) or fresh goat cheese
- 2 tbsp thick yogurt
- 2 tbsp mayonnaise
- 1 tbsp each of finely chopped fresh parsley, tarragon and chives
- 1 tbsp shallot, minced
- salt and pepper to taste
- small radishes, with tops if possible
- small carrots or carrots cut into sticks
- sprouts or sprigs of herbs
- For the soil, process hazelnuts on/off in a food processor until finely ground but not pasty. Remove to a bowl. Place bread in the food processor and processor on/off into fine crumbs. Combine with hazelnuts. Add seeds if using. Stir in butter, salt and sugar. Spread on a baking sheet and roast in a 350F oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until dried. Cool.
- Meanwhile for the dip combine ricotta with yogurt, mayonnaise, herbs and shallots. Season with salt and pepper.
- Spoon or pipe some of the cheese mixture into individual little flowerpots or ramekins or one larger dish. Place little radishes or carrot sticks, cut to size to insert into the dip. Insert sprouts or herbs also. Sprinkle the surface of the dip with the soil to cover the dip.