Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Smokey Pumpkin Garlic Dip

A few months ago Mister AtV and I went down to our local coffee shop to enjoy a cup of caffeine and listen to some local jazz. I was at a loss of what to sip on  but I've always been a fan of strong black tea, so I asked the adorable guy working behind the counter what he recommended. The tea I tried that night forever altered my perception of teas, and I knew the very instant that smokey liquid hit my taste-buds that I would have to bring it into the kitchen with me.
Lapsang Souchong is a marvel in the world of loose leaf teas. You either love it or can't stand it, because not very many people want to drink something that tastes like a campfire. The method for making this wonderful tea is simple:
The Chinese black tea leaves are dried in bamboo baskets over pine-wood fires. This method of drying the leaves above pine wood smoke infuses the leaves with the most amazing flavor, to me it's very reminiscent of mesquite.
Where can you find Lapsang Souchong Tea? 
  • Most Natural foods stores should carry it (check out the bulk section). 
  • You might find it pre-bagged in some grocery stores, although I prefer to buy it in loose leaf form. 
  • If your town has a local coffee shop that sells loose leaf teas ask them if they carry it. Chances are even if they don't carry it they can easily order it for you! 

There is something truly amazing about this tea when combined with food. This next recipe is evidence of just that, and seriously you guys - it's party worthy! If you're looking for an amazing new dip to add to your holiday menu then look no further. You and your guests will not be disappointed.
Smokey Pumpkin Garlic Dip
Step 1. Before hand Prep: 
combine 1 c Warm Water with 2 Tbsp Lapsang Souchong loose leaf tea 
Let the tea leaves "steep" in the warm water for 1 hour, strain water into a bowl and *set aside.
Your tea water should be a lovely clear Amber color like this:
To speed up your tea "steeping" time place your tea in a clear glass jar and set in the direct sunlight. If you go this route then you will only need to soak your tea leaves for about a half an hour.
Step 2. Making the Dip:
1 & 1/2 cups Cashews - soaked 4 hours
(Side Note: After soaking, your Cashews will have expanded in size to roughly 2 cups - this is good)
1 c (packed) shredded Pumpkin flesh
2 tsp White Mustard //or// 1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
1 Tbsp Coconut Nectar //or// 2 Medjool Dates soaked until softened
1 to 2 tsp minced Garlic (for a milder garlic taste you can opt to use 1 tsp of Garlic granules)
2 tsp dried Parsley
1 tsp Onion powder
1/2 tsp Lemon Pepper
1/2 tsp Paprika
1/2 tsp Sea Salt - or to taste
1 cup of *Lapsang Souchong Tea Water (previously set aside)
Combine all of the above into your food processor and puree for roughly three minutes, until whipped and very smooth.
I recommend pairing this dip with crisp Apple, Cucumber. Or you can simply indulge by the spoonful into your mouth...when no one is looking of course.
How about a bonus recipe?
Brown 'Rice' Autumn Salad with Smokey Pumpkin Sauce
Makes 2 to 3 meal sized servings or 5 to 6 "side dish" servings

Step 1. Brown 'Rice' Autumn Salad:
Make a HALF batch of Brown 'Rice' - for the Brown 'Rice' in this Salad I chose to chop the Oat Groats a little bit smaller than normal and it seemed to work really well. 
Combine the following into a mixing bowl:
Brown "Rice"
1 & 1/2 c Apple - chopped (roughly 1 medium Apple)
3/4 c sweet grape Tomatoes sliced in half
3/4 c Red Bell Pepper - chopped
3/4 c Green Onion
 Mix together evenly!
Step 2. Smokey Pumpkin Sauce:
6 Tbsp Smokey Pumpkin Garlic Dip
1/4 c Water
Sea Salt and Pepper to Taste
In a small mixing bowl whisk together the above ingredients. Proceed to either pour on top of your Brown "Rice" Autumn salad, or mix into the salad.

Sarahfae - AtV


  1. I am so, so excited about this one! These photos are gorgeous!

  2. Thanks Rachel! I'm thinking about sneaking into my fridge and finishing off the last of it tonight. ;)


  3. UHM YUM!! So, is this, regular jack o'lantern pumpkin flesh??

  4. This sounds amazing! What a great idea...

  5. I LOVE lapsang souchong! I went through this long period where I was using it exclusively to brew my kombucha - it made for the most intense elixir! Most people couldn't handle it but I adored it. =)

  6. I must try this tea. I'm not a huge tea fan (I prefer coffee), but I love, love, loved smoked porter beers and I bet this is like a smoked tea sort of thing. Smoky flavors make me so happy!

  7. Hi Lorra! - I would recommended Sugar Pumpkins for this, and you can find those just about anywhere. xoxo
    Thank you for the comment T! :)
    Sayward - We were separated at birth! Now make this dip! <3
    Bianca - I've never been a coffee drinker myself (it does un-lady like things to me) but I swear, if you're a lover of smokey flavors you cannot go wrong with using this tea. It'll knock yer socks off chicky! - xo

  8. That dip looks and sounds wonderful! I love pairing tea with foods, although I haven't yet done it with Pumpkin! Bookmarking this recipe - going to try it with almonds even though they have a lower fat content, I have a cashew allergy to work around.

  9. Hi Ella! Thanks for the comment :)
    Do you have an allergy to Macadamia nuts? If you can, I would use those before Almonds. The fat content really helps with the creaminess factor. Either way let me know how it works for ya!


  10. Good idea on the Macadamias! I never know what to substitute for cashew creams but I have a feeling that will work wonderfully! Thank you!

  11. These recipes look great.
    Would love to get my hands on some of that tea...I love smokey campfires!! :)
    Peace and RAW Health,

  12. WHOA, cook for me! Seriously, this looks so good.

  13. Yay!!
    I would LOVE to cook for you Melissa!

  14. ZOMG the tea, the dip, and the smoky pumpkin sauce...i need to go through your archives, your individuality and killer creativity make this one of the seriously best raw blogs around.