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Herbed Cashew Dip
Herbed Cashew Dip Photo courtesy Susana Holloway

Traditional cocktail-party snacks tend toward baby quiches, bacon-wrapped bites and pedestrian dips that are easily overshadowed by fancier fare. But that won't be the case if you swap an old standby for this herb-packed cashew dip. The recipe is a favorite from the popular raw-food classes Susana Holloway teaches at Portland's Culinary Workshop in Portland, Oregon. Holloway builds upon a raw-food favorite--cashew cream sauce--by whirling raw cashews and herbs into a sweet, creamy dip. Keep those crudités at the ready: You don't want to run out of things on which to spread this creation.

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Makes about 1.5 cups
Start to Finish: 45 minutes

Ingredients

1½ cups (7 ounces) raw cashews

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 garlic cloves, minced

3 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped

1½ tablespoons fresh oregano leaves, finely chopped

1 tablespoon fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped

1 scallion, white and light-green parts only, thinly sliced (about 1 tablespoon)

½ cup water

Salt

Directions

1. Fill a bowl with room-temperature water and soak the cashews for 30 minutes. Drain the cashews and set aside.

2. In a blender, process the olive oil with the lemon juice, garlic, parsley, oregano, cilantro and scallion until just combined. Gradually add the cashews, scraping down the sides of the blender and adding water to thin the dip as needed. (You may not need all of the water.) Pulse until the ingredients are well combined and the dip is smooth. Season with salt.

3. Transfer the dip to a serving bowl and pair with crunchy vegetables or pita bread for dipping.

Finishing Touches

It's the details that count! Try these tips

  • The dip can be refrigerated for about 1 week, so it's a great make-ahead party food. Bring back to room temperature before serving.

  • Forgo your tired chip-‘n'-dip tray for an elegant, minimalist option, like these West Elm condiment dishes ($16).

  • For the best results, use a high-powered blender like a Vitamix. A regular food processor may make the texture too grainy.

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