Exotic yet familar, this innovative combination of pureed edamame beans, feta, yogurt, and olive oil makes a deliciously distinctive dip. It’s a lovely appetizer, a wasabi-pea-green and salty-not-quite-sour dunking medium for rice crackers or vegetables to snack on while the grill does its magic on dinner.
Because we cannot grow hibiscus in Michigan, I was sitting in the shade beside the pool contemplating how the unusual and exotic is often what we do not have easy access to. I felt extravagant relaxing from a gentle float in the pool, listening to the gurgling waterfall and feeling quite comfortable in the 100° plus day. I arranged the lizards in a position prelude to a kiss… (no, it wasn’t heat stroke: hover over the photo above!)
We are back in Michigan and as I sat in the shade on by back stoop I was wishing for exotic hibiscus flowers. My eye was caught by a foreign shape. The flowers on the Rose of Sharon bush glowed in the sunshine. Most of the year, the bushes are scraggly, weedy and without distinction. Today I realized how unusually tropical and similar their beauty is to the flowers I enjoyed during my Missouri vacation—the familiar revealed as extraordinary.
To be honest, this dip did not turn out as well as it usually does. One needs flavorful olive oil, and the only kind I could find in the pantry (being a good guest and not wanting to snoop through all the cupboards) was a “light” oil without much flavor. The feta, the only brand available in the store we went to was dry and very bland.
But my biggest mistake was that I remembered the 14 ounces of edamame beans, but forgot that that was the weight of beans in their shells. That quantity of beans to the other not-so flavorful ingredients just would not blend into a nice smooth tangy dip…
Bright Green Edamame Dip
adapted from: The Japanese Kitchen
•250 Recipes in a Traditional Spirit•
by Hiroko Shimbo
1 ½ cups dip
- 14 ounces edamame (green soybeans) in their shells
—about 1 cup of shelled beans—you can buy them frozen already shelled
- 2 ounces feta cheese
- 6 Tablespoons olive oil
- 3 Tablespoons plain yogurt
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
Add part of the salt and taste: some feta cheese is very salty!
- a sprinkle of paprika for color contrast
In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the edamame until they are tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Drain them in a colander and fan to speed cooling. Or put them into cold water and shake dry.
Shell the beans, and discard the shells. In a food processor or blender, blend the beans and all the rest of the ingredients to make a creamy paste.
Serve the dip with rice crackers or crudites.