Help me blend, not bland, my way through summer
April 16, 2008 3:10 PM   Subscribe

It's about to be summer in Texas. I bought a smallish food processor. Please give me your best food-processor recipes.

I realize there have been discussions of salsa, baba ghanouj and hummus here on the green... and wondered, what else is there? In the summer it's too g.d. hot to cook lots of times, so for example, we make a cold pasta salad with a vegan pesto that's tasty. What other things can I make with the food processor that are like this? Sauces, dips, dressings, salsas, guacamoles, etc.? Soup base, maybe? Can I make nut butter in this thing as well? I have a rice cooker too, and can use it without overheating the kitchen, so if you have a recipe for something that goes well over rice, couscous or quinoa, bring it on!

I prefer vegetarian recipes; however, if you have a bizarre meat-based recipe, let's hear that too, just for the heck of it.
posted by Unicorn on the cob to Food & Drink (20 answers total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
Gazpacho would be traditional

posted by bitdamaged at 3:48 PM on April 16, 2008

ooh you said pesto - anyway I make a variant with sun dried tomatoes instead of basil its quite tasty.
posted by bitdamaged at 3:49 PM on April 16, 2008

baba ganoush
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 3:49 PM on April 16, 2008

damn it, i'm sorry. why I realize there have been discussions of salsa, baba ghanouj and hummus here on the green... and wondered didn't click in my brain; i don't know.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 3:51 PM on April 16, 2008

This is a dessert idea, maybe not what you're looking for, but fruit tarts are delicious and easy to make (especially in the summer when fruit is cheaper) if you have a food processor. The pastry cream doesn't need to be blended, but if you make the dough in a food processor it's incredibly easy and much faster than trying to cut in butter with a pastry blender or your fingers. I like to use strawberries, kiwis, raspberries, and whatever else is in season. If you chill it in the fridge it'll be extra delicious.
posted by Oobidaius at 3:52 PM on April 16, 2008

For bizarre meat - I've had a quite tasty (for my omniverous palette) chicken or other poultry mousse. Great on crackers or crostinis
posted by bitdamaged at 3:56 PM on April 16, 2008

You could make a mango lassi. Blend ice, mango pulp, plain yogurt, and ground cardamom pods to taste, for a refreshing and healthy summer drink.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:03 PM on April 16, 2008 [1 favorite]

I use mine to chop the parsley, mint, and scallions when I make tabouleh.
posted by small_ruminant at 4:03 PM on April 16, 2008

Best answer: Raita. Shred up a cucumber, some mint or cilantro, and maybe a bit of onion. Season it with salt and a smidgen of cumin and mix it into a bowl full of plain yogurt. It's best with Indian food, but it's tasty with just about anything.
posted by nebulawindphone at 4:33 PM on April 16, 2008

Best answer: I love my food processor. It's great for making salad dressings, as you mentioned, and the other day I made a lemon vinaigrette that was nice over couscous as well as salad.

There are a bunch of spreads/dips you could do, maybe not enough for a whole meal, but good for snacks with bread or vegetables:
- herbed cream cheese - garlic, chives/green onions/whatever fresh herbs you want, cream cheese
- olive spread - pitted olives, garlic, olive oil, sundried tomatoes
- roasted red pepper - the jarred red peppers (so you don't have to use your oven) plus either cream cheese or sour cream

Besides pesto, you could also do a fresh tomato pasta sauce. Add tomatoes to the olive oil, garlic, basil, etc. If you kept it chunkier you could stick it on grilled/toasted bread and have bruschetta.

There're Asian things you could do too. A straight up chili sauce using shallots, chilies, garlic, salt, or maybe a peanut sauce using that same base plus peanut butter (or peanuts) and soy sauce.

In general, there are tons of variations on things you can do with the food processor just by adding store-bought stuff to food-processed ingredients. You could make homemade mayonnaise, or you could add stuff to regular mayo to make it special: extra virgin olive oil, maybe some garlic or extra lemon...Similarly the best hummus I ever had was regular hummus added to food-processed chipotle and green onions.

I know how hot Texas can be, but if you're willing to use the stove top or the grill there are so many marinades you could make with the food processor. You could make Thai curries from scratch - green curry's not so hard, the only hard part is making a trip to the Asian super market. And I do use it for soup bases...maybe it's cheating, but sometimes I'm too lazy to chop the stuff for a mirepoix or gumbo. Ok, the end. I clearly love my food processor.
posted by loulou718 at 4:44 PM on April 16, 2008 [2 favorites]

Best answer: here is the best hummus I have found:

15 oz can garbanzos rinsed
1 clove garlic
1/3 cup tahini
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cut water
3 tbls lemon juice
dash cumin
dash cayenne

process, enjoy
posted by jockc at 7:29 PM on April 16, 2008 [3 favorites]

Best answer: I forgot, that hummus needs about 1/2 tsp of salt too..
posted by jockc at 8:58 PM on April 16, 2008 [1 favorite]

Use it to make dough for a pie or a tart.
posted by arianell at 11:13 PM on April 16, 2008

(anchovies are nice but unnecessary, just replace with a little bit something that imparts the same sort of saltiness. I bet soy sauce or dried salted anything could work.)
posted by The Esteemed Doctor Bunsen Honeydew at 1:18 AM on April 17, 2008

Best answer: damn
posted by The Esteemed Doctor Bunsen Honeydew at 1:19 AM on April 17, 2008 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Two magical, magical roasted pepper recipes: romesco sauce and muhammara. I don't really have a standard recipe for romesco anymore, but it goes something like, three roasted red peppers, two or three really ripe tomatoes, a few slices of bread skillet toasted in a pan with olive oil, a few garlic cloves, about half a cup of blanched and toasted almonds, about a third of a cup of good olive oil, and red wine vinegar to taste (where 'to taste' in this instance means quite a bit, like a quarter cup or so. But I like my vinegar, and you may not). It works best if you do the nuts and garlic and bread first and then add the softer stuff, then pour in the oil and vinegar while the processor is running.
posted by felix grundy at 8:39 AM on April 17, 2008

(I would imagine that the trouble with making pie dough is that eventually one has to turn on the oven in order to bake the pie.)
posted by felix grundy at 8:41 AM on April 17, 2008

Best answer: Oh and peanut sauce is amazing on sticky rice, maybe with a little seared tofu if you can stand to have a burner on for five minutes. Again, no proper recipe but a malleable habitual process: chop up a few garlic cloves, about a one-inch piece of ginger, and a sizeable amount of cilantro. Add about a half cup of peanut butter, a tablespoon of sesame oil and as much chile oil as you think is appropriate—or I sometimes use fresh chiles if I have them. Then about a third of a cup of soy sauce, and a spoonful of sugar or honey. Then a splash of rice wine vinegar. Then taste it and adjust all the soy/sweet/vinegar/spicy aspects until it's just right. I also put it on cold soba with uncooked tofu and chopped scallions and bell peppers. It usually needs thinning with water before it'll mix properly, especially if you've had it in the fridge for a few days.
posted by felix grundy at 8:47 AM on April 17, 2008 [2 favorites]

Ditto pesto. Food processors were made for pesto. Olive pesto and sun-dried tomato pesto are two two great variants.
posted by ObscureReferenceMan at 9:33 AM on April 17, 2008

I think I got this idea from Alton Brown...When I have leftover cheese, particularly a few different kinds, I'll cut them into chunks and toss in the food processor with a little garlic and olive oil. Makes a good spread/dip.
posted by radioamy at 12:55 PM on April 17, 2008 [1 favorite]

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