Looking to add a super bowl of dip to your party? Try out chef Gregory Gourdet’s super flavorful (and vegan-friendly!) ranch dip. It’s just one of his many delicious recipes featured in his James Beard Book Award-winning cookbook, “Everyone’s Table.” You can also find his party-perfect recipe for Guacamole with Roasted Chiles, Pomegranate, and Tortilla Chips here!
SOUR COCONUT CREAM RANCH DIP WITH RAW VEGETABLES
Serves 8 to 10
Once you’ve turned coconut cream into coconut crème fraîche—via one of the world’s easiest fermentations—the tangy rich product makes a perfect stand-in for the traditional buttermilk and sour cream in ranch dressing. Dosed with garlic, chives, and dill, the dip has all the creamy pleasures of the original but with a lightness that doesn’t dominate the vegetables or undo the radiant feeling they give you. The vegetables, of course, are up to you, though the list I give is a particularly nice assortment, especially when they’re arranged in rainbow order for that ombre effect. Whatever you do, make sure to give them a soak in ice water so they’re cold and super crisp. I like to go even further, serving them over a bowl of ice to preserve the texture and temperature.
For the Dip
1 medium shallot, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 teaspoons flaky sea salt
2 cups Coconut Crème Fraîche (see COCONUT CRÈME FRAÎCHE recipe below), chilled
2 tablespoons thinly sliced chives
1 tablespoon lemon juice (from 1 juicy lemon)
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 Persian cucumbers, halved lengthwise
2 heads baby bok choy, bottoms trimmed and leaves separated
1 head fennel, trimmed of thick stems and blemishes, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1 small jicama, peeled and julienned (3 x 1/4 inch)
1 small golden beet, peeled and thinly sliced on a mandoline
1 small orange bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch strips
8 sweet mini peppers, halved
1 bunch small radishes, tops trimmed, halved
8 small young carrots, peeled and quartered lengthwise
3 cups cauliflower florets
Extra-virgin olive oil
Small handful of small dill sprigs
MAKE THE DIP
Combine the shallot, garlic, and salt in a medium mixing bowl, mix well, and let sit for 15 minutes to soften the bite of the shallot and garlic.
Add the coconut crème fraîche, chives, lemon juice, and pepper and stir well. Chill the dip in the fridge until you’re ready to serve (the coconut crème fraîche melts at room temperature), up to 12 hours.
Ten minutes or so before you plan to serve, fill a large mixing bowl with ice water, add the vegetables, and let them hang out for 10 to 15 minutes.
Right before serving, drain the vegetables well and pat them completely dry with clean kitchen towels.
SERVE THE DIP
Arrange the vegetables on a platter. Serve the dip, drizzled with the olive oil and sprinkled with the dill, alongside the vegetables.
COCONUT CRÈME FRAÎCHE
Makes about 2 1/2 cups
The fat from coconuts is extremely versatile. Here I treat coconut cream like, well, actual cream and turn it into a kind of crème fraîche. A little heat, some vinegar, and a low-key ferment for three days gives you a tangy, satiny product with the mild sweetness and nutty quality of coconut. I love it with cold, crunchy vegetables, ranch-style, please. I highly recommend boxed coconut cream for this recipe. Look for the Aroy-D brand in markets with a robust Southeast Asian section.
One 33.8-fluid ounce box coconut cream, refrigerated for at least 16 hours
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
PREP THE COCONUT CREAM
Flip the chilled box of coconut cream upside down and open it from the bottom. All the rich fat, which had risen to the top of the container in the fridge, will now be on the bottom. Pour off the liquid and because it’s tasty, reserve it for another purpose. Give your blender an extra good cleaning.
Gently melt the fat in a small saucepan over low heat. Once it’s completely melted, transfer the liquid to the blender, add the apple cider vinegar, and blend it for 5 seconds to combine the vinegar and cream. This brief blending helps emulsify the fat and vinegar, ensuring the final texture is nice and smooth.
FERMENT THE COCONUT CREAM
Transfer the mixture to a clean glass jar (you want at least an inch of space between the cream and the rim) and let cool, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Cover the jar opening with cheesecloth and secure it with a rubber band. Put the jar in a warm area out of direct sunlight (see page 267 for tips) and let the mixture ferment for 3 days. It’ll thicken slightly but still be liquid.
After 3 days of fermenting, remove the cheesecloth and chill it in the fridge, uncovered, until it’s cold and set (it’ll get thick and creamy), at least 2 hours. Covered with an airtight lid, it keeps in the fridge for up to 10 days. If the mixture separates, just use the thick cream on top, not the liquid on the bottom.
From the book EVERYONE’S TABLE by Gregory Gourdet and JJ Goode. Copyright ©2021 by Gregory Gourdet and JJ Goode. Published by Harper Wave an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. Reprinted by permission. Photos credited to Eva Kosmas Flores.
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