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Nothing tastes better than food straight from the earth — a truth that fuels our dreams of ditching the city for country air and seasonal living. Our farm-fantasy is reality for food blogger, Andrea Bemis, who lives on 6-acres outside of Portland with her husband and all the fresh veggies she could ever wish for. According to Andrea’s new cookbook, Dishing Up The Dirt, making the most of all those plants has everything to do with the right sauces.

Here are three of our faves from inside the pages of her new book, including the “hippie ranch dressing” we can’t wait to pour on everything…

Garlic Cashew Herb Sauce: Taylor, my husband, calls this “hippie ranch dressing,” and it really does have a ranch flavor. It’s absolutely spoonworthy and tastes great served with roasted vegetables or meat dishes, as a condiment for fries, or spread on a sandwich in place of mayo.

Tumbleweed Farm Basic Pesto: Every summer I dedicate a weekend to preserving food with two of my best girlfriends, who just happen to live right up the road from Tumble­weed Farm. We make large batches of pesto to freeze for the year, and this simple recipe is our absolute favorite. Use this pesto on everything from pasta to pizza to roasted veggies and even toast.

Herbed Tahini Sauce: This versatile sauce tastes great served with pretty much anything. Sometimes I like to keep it on the thicker side by adding less water so it can be served as a dip for crackers or raw veggies. However, when taco night comes rolling around (page 108), I like to achieve a smooth and pourable sauce by adding more liquid.

Garlic Cashew Herb Sauce
makes 1 – 1/2 cups

Ingredients:

1 cup raw cashews, soaked in warm water for 30 minutes
2½ Tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2½ Tbsp minced dill
2½ Tbsp minced parsley
fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

Drain the soaked cashews and rinse them under cold water. Place the drained cashews with ½ cup water, lemon juice, oil, garlic, dill, and parsley into a high- speed blender (see note). Whirl away on high until smooth and creamy; this will take about 2 minutes, so be patient! Scrape down the sides and add extra water, a little at a time, until you reach a smooth and creamy consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add more water to thin if necessary.

Tumbleweed Farm Basic Pesto
makes 1 cup

Ingredients:

6 cups gently packed basil
½ cup walnuts
2 cloves of garlic
¼ tsp fine sea salt
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

Directions:

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the basil, nuts, garlic, and salt. Process until finely chopped. With the motor running, slowly add the lemon juice and oil until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

You can freeze the pesto in mason jars or freezer bags for up to 1 year.

Herbed Tahini Sauce
makes 1 cup

Ingredients:

1 clove of garlic, minced
1 scallion, minced (white and light green parts only)
¼ cup tahini
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp honey
¼ cup loosely packed basil, finely chopped
¼ cup loosely packed dill, finely chopped
¼ cup loosely packed parsley, finely chopped
⅛ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

Combine all the ingredients with ⅓ cup water in a blender or food pro­cessor and process until smooth. Add more water 1 tablespoon at a time to thin the sauce, if necessary. Taste-test and adjust seasonings as needed.


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