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My New Favorite Starter

I love a good cheese plate. A thoughtful spread (creamy/hard, sharp/smooth) when I’m at someone’s house for drinks delights me. But, truth be told, it fills me up, too. I like cheese so much that I almost always end up eating too much of it and then I can barely make it through dinner. (But make it I do! It is not the host’s fault that her cheese selection was so delicious I can’t control myself.)

In my own house, I’ve attempted to remedy this situation by serving a chilled curried-yogurt chickpea dip as a starter along with thin slices of bread or baked pita chips. The “dip” has a slight kick so awakens the palate, but is also light enough to leave you wanting more. More of the main event.

Here’s how you do it: In a medium bowl, whisk together 3/4 cup plain yogurt (preferably drained, but not a dealbreaker if it isn’t), 2 teaspoons curry powder (preferably Madras), 1 generous squeeze lemon juice, some freshly chopped cilantro (or mint), and a little cayenne if you want it spicier. Mix in one (drained) 15-ounce can of chick peas.

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