Friday, June 12, 2015

Croutons with Creamy Red Pepper Dip

It's time for another mystery box madness with I Heart Cooking Clubs. Participants are asked to chose 3 out of 10 ingredients and make a dish from one of our 12 IHCC chefs. The ingredients were really tough this time around: Any White-Fleshed Fish, Green Leaf Lettuce, Pine Nuts,Dill, Cheddar Cheese, Almond Extract or Liqueur, Blueberries, Cornstarch, Bell Pepper, and Black Beans. It's not that the ingredients didn't favor one another, because they definitely do. The trouble was I simply couldn't find a recipe among our 12 IHCC chefs that contained 3 of those ingredients. 
So, what did I do? Well, I cheated.  I chose Pepin's Croutons with Creamy Red Pepper Dip because it contains red bell pepper and dill.  Then I got crafty and served it on a bed of green leaf lettuce. Yes, I did!

We all loved the pretty color of this dip and thought it was really tasty with the crunchy croutons.  While this dip contains both cream cheese and cottage cheese it is not necessarily cheesy. The cheese creates a wonderful creamy consistency, but the main flavor is the red pepper and the dill (which is actually a delicious combination). I think this is a perfect summer dip for croutons, crackers,or even some fresh veggies. I can definitely see myself making it again for a party.

Croutons with Creamy Red Pepper
Adapted from Simple and Healthy Cooking
by Jacques Pepin
Serves 6

2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 jar (5 ounces) red peppers, drained
2 oz. cream cheese (1/4 cup)
2 tablespoons cottage cheese
1 teaspoon minced fresh dill
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 very thin French-style baguette bread loaf (6 ounces)
fresh dill sprigs
Garnish: green leaf lettuce

Preheat oven to 400F.

Place one garlic clove in the bowl of a food processor. Add the red peppers, cream cheese, cottage cheese, dill, lemon juice and black pepper.  Process the mixture until it is smooth.  Set aside.

To make the croutons, cut the bread into 42 to 48 slices. Arrange the slices on a cookie sheet and bake them for 10 minutes, or until crisp. Remove from the oven and rub each slice with the other clove of garlic and drizzle croutons lightly with olive oil. Spread the croutons with the pepper spread and garnish each with a small sprig of fresh dill.
Theme: Mystery Box Madness June 2015


  1. Hi Kim,
    The red pepper dip looks really yummy! I love red peppers! The dill is an interesting ingredient indeed! I can imagine having this dip with all kinds of flatbreads and even veggies!
    I don't think you cheated! I think that is a smart way of using a third ingredient! Yes, you gotta do what you gotta do,,,, and I would have done the same thing...I think I have done it before,,, not really sure, but I have a feeling I did the same thing before! :)

  2. If you thought you're cheating, you are in good company. The dip looks delicious, smooth and bright. Certainly a dip to consider whipping up quickly in laid-back summer days!

  3. What a gorgeous photo that makes me want to dive right in! Very healthy indeed! Congrats on also completing the June Mystery Box Challenge at IHCC!!

  4. Haha love how you got inventive with this! And I bet if you thinned the dip out a bit, you could totally use it as salad this counts!

  5. I was surprised that I found a recipe with these ingredients too. This dip looks great. It will be nice for those hot summer days.

  6. My brother in law used to always say "If you're not cheatin', you're not trying." ;)


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