Wednesday, January 28, 2015

broccoli, green garlic shoots and quark cheese dip, making snacking healthier

Cheesy-creamy dips never fail to impress. Making them with homemade fresh cheese and enriching it with flavours of the season is a great way to eat for nourishment. There is a misconception that taste is inversely proportional to nourishment and this blog is here to correct that notion. You know your food well if you are reading this right now and I want you to learn some simpler ways to cook delicious food from scratch because learning how to cook will ensure great quality of ingredients and nourishing food on the table every single day. The feedback that I get from all of you reading this blog encourages me to try and bring more simple, seasonal, affordable, doable recipes that go a long way for a healthy lifestyle.


This broccoli and quark dip is very quick once you have some quark ready in the fridge. Making quark cheese at home is not at all difficult as it is a simple curd cheese with a little higher fat content for creamy texture. Just whip a kilo of plain yogurt with 100 ml single cream (25% fat), let it sit for an hour and then strain it through muslin lined sieve propped on to a large bowl to collect the whey that can be used to knead bread dough later. Keep the sieve along with the bowl refrigerated overnight and collect the thick creamy quark in the morning. Keeps well for a week in non reactive containers once refrigerated. Use as required.

You can whip this quark cheese to make fruit based desserts like strawberry-quark mousse as well as dips using various base ingredients. Quark provides richness in texture and taste and is a healthy ingredients rich in calcium and good fats.

Since I had loads of farm fresh broccoli someone had sent 2 weeks ago, I used that to make this dip to take to our family potluck one day. Everyone loved it and I was regretting why I did not make more. This dip also keeps well for 3-4 days in the fridge.

ingredients..

quark cheese 1 cup or about 300 gm
nuts soaked for 2 hours about 30 gm ( I used cashews and walnuts)
broccoli florets chopped in small pieces 3 cups (about 500 gm)
fresh green garlic shoots with white bulbs chopped 1 cup (about 150 gm)
salt to taste
pepper powder 1 tsp
olive oil 1 tbsp


procedure

Heat a pan and drizzle olive oil to coat. Add the chopped broccoli and salt and stir well to coat lightly with oil and sweat the broccoli. Add the chopped green garlic and mix, cook covered for 5 minutes or till everything is wilted. Cool to room temperature.

Now mix everything else and make a smooth paste in your trusted food processor or mixie.

Serve as desired, drizzled with some extra virgin olive oil.


I served this dip with home made whole wheat crackers. You can serve this with any kind of whole wheat or ragi or millet crackers you like. You can make a variety of dips with many lentils and vegetables with added yogurt, quark or nuts paste and add zing to everyday meals.

This broccoli and quark dip had a mild sharpness provided by fresh green garlic that we get in abundance all through winters. If you don't have access to it you can use garlic cloves but in smaller quantity. Roasted garlic would also taste really good in this dip.

This dip makes a great bread spread as well.



2 comments:

  1. Sangeeta, 1kg curd+100 gm cream....how much quark would this yield? I just want about 2 cups of quark right now. Planning to have your strawberry mousse tomorrow :)
    Also, please tell, is the one hour sitting time sufficient in this weather?

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    Replies
    1. Amrita, make enough quark because it is a very useful thing have in the fridge :-)
      1kg curd+100 cream wold make some 600 gm quark though I never weighed.
      One hour is not enough, we need about 4 hrs minimum but 10-12 hrs is the best inside the fridge and this is not weather dependent as it sits in the fridge while straining.. The amount of water removed from the curd decides how god the quark will be.

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