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Zucchini Cilantro Dip

Zucchini is plentiful all summer long, yet can get a bit too routine after awhile. Well, my friend and colleague, Suzanne Carrerio, takes this summer squash to a whole new level by adding garbanzo beans, cilantro and a splash of vinegar to make a spirited party dip. Try it, you’ll like it!

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Zucchini Cilantro Dip
Makes about 3 cups      Prep time: 15 minutes

1-1/2 pounds zucchini, coarsely shredded*
1 can (8 ounces) garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup packed cilantro leaves
1 garlic clove
3 tablespoons Nakano Seasoned Rice Vinegar,
  Original or Roasted Garlic
3 tablespoons mild olive oil
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 to 2 jalapeños, seeded and deveined (optional)

Line a large sheet pan with a clean dish towel or a double layer of paper towels; spread zucchini over towel. Sprinkle with 3/4 teaspoon salt; let stand 5-10 minutes. Roll zucchini in towel and squeeze out moisture.

In food processor,* combine zucchini, garbanzo beans, cilantro and garlic; process until smooth. Add vinegar, oil, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and jalapeño, if desired; process 10 seconds or until smooth. Adjust salt to taste.  Serve dip with chips, carrot sticks, cucumber slices, toasted baguette slices or pita bread wedges.

* Kitchen Notes:
— If you don’t have a shredder for the zucchini, cut them into very thin slices and spread out on the tray; sprinkle with salt. The slices do not to have to be uniform or pretty since they’ll be pureed.
I’ve not tried it, but this dip could be made in a blender if pureed in batches.

Nutrition per tablespoon without jalapeño: 14 calories, .3g protein, 1g carbohydrate, 1g fat, 0mg cholesterol, 57mg sodium
                                                       Recipe and photo by Suzanne Carreiro

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