Saturday, April 27, 2013

Sesame Sweet Potato Miso Dip

I owe many a luxurious and enlightening Sunday afternoon to one fine group of ladies. How else would I justify needing to spend a cozy hour curled up in an armchair furiously finishing a novel? And more importantly, when would I get to chomp pecan cookies, start drinking at one in the afternoon or have the excuse to make egg-filled cakes and other contraband delights? Give it up for book club.

Sure, sometimes we overdo it on the wine, but typically not until after we discuss the book. Briefly.
Not only do my book club ladies read, they cook. And they eat (with enthusiasm I might add) all the stuff I don't normally get to make at home. And I love them all the more for it.

Every time book club rolls around I'm faced with the impossible decision: sweet or savory? Clearly the answer is both. This time around blueberry-lemon yogurt cake with lemon cream was an easy sell and will be coming in a later post. I have promised Roo an egg-free version. Wish me luck.

The real dark horse though, is this crazy good sweet, silky, salty dip.
Sesame is such a rock star - all that toasty deep earthy flavor of nuts, without the nuts. Add the creamy sweetness of the potatoes, salty bite of miso and my friends, you have one heck of a dip on your hands. 

I actually had no intention of sharing with the kids but when Bean came by asking what that yummy smell was (toasting sesame seeds) I couldn't pass up the opportunity. The kiddos dipped snap peas and carrots and somewhat shockingly, no one snorted, choked, or exhibited odd facial contortions. A couple of kids even came back for a second round. That's a winner in my book.

Sesame Sweet Potato Miso Dip
adapted from Sunset Magazine December 2010

1 pound sweet potatoes
1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
2 tbsp white miso
2 tbsp tahini
2 tsp soy sauce
1 scallion, thinly sliced
toasted sesame seeds for garnish

Peel the sweet potatoes and cut into large chunks. Place the potatoes in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook until soft but not falling apart, about 15-20 minutes. Remove the sweet potatoes from the water and allow to cool slightly. Reserve the cooking liquid.

Combine the cooked potatoes, ginger, miso, tahini, and soy sauce in a food processor or powerful blender. Puree the mixture, adding cooking liquid from the potatoes as needed until the mixture is smooth and silky. Transfer the dip to a serving bowl. Sprinkle with scallions and toasted sesame seeds. Serve with fresh vegetables for dipping.

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