Saturday, February 08, 2014

Broccoli Dip in a Bread Bowl

The only thing better than broccoli dip is broccoli dip in an edible bowl, which is why I serve mine in a hollowed-out loaf of sourdough bread. Mayonnaise and Greek yogurt form the dip's creamy base, which is then seasoned with shallot, Parmesan cheese, and cayenne. We like to dunk crudités in the dip before we start eating the bowl itself.

Frozen broccoli was mushy and bland, but lightly cooking fresh broccoli in the microwave provided ideal texture and flavor. The stems need longer than the florets, so we cook the two separately. Chopping both in the food processor makes for a pleasantly smooth dip.

Serves 12

Make the dip up to 24 hours ahead, but prepare and fill the bread bowl just before serving. Opt for a taller, domed loaf of sourdough over a flat, wide loaf. Serve with crudités, if desired.

12 ounces broccoli, florets cut into 1-inch pieces, stalks peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2/3 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons minced shallot
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2/3 cup whole Greek yogurt
1 (8-inch) round sourdough bread


1. Combine broccoli stalks and 1 tablespoon water in bowl. Cover and microwave until tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer to colander, rinse under cold water, and drain thoroughly. Transfer to dish towel and pat dry. Combine broccoli florets and 1 tablespoon water in now-empty bowl. Cover and microwave until just tender, about 3 minutes. Transfer to colander, rinse under cold water, and drain thoroughly. Transfer to dish towel and pat dry. (Keep stalks and florets separate.)

2. Combine stalks, mayonnaise, Parmesan, shallot, garlic, salt, pepper, and cayenne in food processor and process until finely ground, about 30 seconds, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add florets and pulse until finely chopped, about 4 pulses. Transfer to bowl, stir in yogurt, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours.

3. Using paring knife, cut into top of bread at 45-degree angle, about 1 1/2 inches from edge. Continue to slice around bread at 45-degree angle in approximate 5-inch circle. Remove bread top and cut into bite-size pieces. Make vertical slices through perimeter of bread bowl at 1 1/2-inch intervals, stopping just shy of bottom crust. Transfer dip to bread bowl. Serve, using bread pieces to dip.

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