Vegetable platters from the supermarket can make entertaining easy, but not cheap. A store-bought platter with dip can set you back as much as $1 or more per person. But vegetables aren't that expensive, which means you're paying a lot for convenience.
In about the time it takes to go to the store (and stand in line to pay) you can make this platter of nicoise-style creamy feta and garlic dip with crudites that will serve two dozen at a cost of about 60 cents per person.
The dip is extremely versatile, so you can use any vegetables you prefer or find on sale. As with any crudites platter, you will need about 500 g (1 lb) of vegetables for every 5 to 6 people.
Creamy Feta and Garlic Dip With Crudites
500 g (1 lb) small red potatoes
500 g (1 lb) green beans, ends trimmed
500 ml (2 cups) crumbled feta cheese
1 pkg (250 g/8 oz) cream cheese
50 ml (1/4 cup) lemon juice
30 ml (2 tbsp) garlic powder
2 cloves garlic, minced
Ground black pepper, to taste
500 g (1 lb) radishes, washed and trimmed
500 ml (2 cups) cherry tomatoes, rinsed
In a large saucepan, place potatoes and add enough water to cover. Bring to a simmer over medium, then cook until tender when pierced with a knife, about 15 minutes. Drain and rinse until cold water. Set aside.
Meanwhile, bring a second large saucepan of water to a boil. Add green beans and cook until tender but still crisp, about 3 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water until cool. Set aside.
In a food processor, combine feta, cream cheese, lemon juice, garlic powder and garlic. Process until very smooth. Season with pepper, then pulse to combine. Transfer dip to a serving bowl, surrounded by the beans, potatoes (larger potatoes can be sliced), radishes and tomatoes.
Makes 24 servings.
Nutrition information per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 95 calories, 54 calories from fat, 6 g fat (4 g saturated, 0 g trans fats), 22 mg cholesterol, 7 g carbohydrate, 3 g protein, 1 g fibre, 178 mg sodium.