Time For A Dipby Mark Mulcahy | September 6th, 2010
Well, the dog days of summer are here and the weather will soon start turning cooler. If you haven’t started your outdoor entertaining it’s not too late to begin. September offers many opportunities for produce to play a roll in your Indian summer social calendar.
Corn, portabella, and zucchini on the grill
Honeydew, cantaloupe, and watermelon for breakfast, or fruit salad
Grapes for snacking
And, of course, carrots, cucumbers, and peppers – for dipping
But your veggies don’t have to be a mere vehicle for a dip. They can take the driver’s seat too.
Here are some easy, great tasting vegetable dips to serve at back-to-school party, a football tailgater, or a gathering of friends listening to the latest podcast of An Organic Conversation.
Lets start with basil. Often used as a seasoning to enhance the flavor of vegetables, just think of the possibilities when put front and center in a dip. This high protein spread is simple to make and has all kinds of uses: a fantastic addition to a grilled veggie platter, a wonderful sandwich spread, or even rolled up in steamed chard leaves as an appetizer.
1 15-oz can chickpeas, drained
2 crushed garlic cloves
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons tahini
1/2-cup fresh basil leaves
Puree all the ingredients in a food processor or blender until creamy. Add additional oil, if necessary, for desired consistency.
Late Summer is when the colored peppers are grown in the US and more reasonably priced. Serve this tangy recipe with toasted pita bread or on your favorite veggie burger. It is sure to become a new favorite topping.
Roasted Red Bell Pepper Hummus
16 ounces chickpeas
6 ounces roasted red bell peppers
1 jalapeno, seeded, diced
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves
3 tablespoons chopped onion
1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1-tablespoon chipotle pepper in adobo
1/4-cup extra-virgin olive oil
Mix all ingredients, except olive oil, in food processor until pureed. Slowly add in olive oil to finish. Let stand for 1 hour prior to serving.
Next up is the often under appreciated beet. Rich in folate and antioxidants, this root veggie has all sorts of uses. As a dip, it can be a sweet, refreshing alternative to hummus. Truly a creative addition to any meal! Plus, it only takes a few minutes to make.
Beet Root Spread
1 beetroot, cooked
2/3 cup unsweetened yogurt
1 tbsp tahini
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
3 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp chili
Pinch of salt
Place all ingredients in food processor and blend until smooth. Serve chilled with crackers.
If you buy a bunch of beets then either make a double version of this recipe or try them raw – peeled and tossed into a salad. Or you might like them lightly cooked with a bit of onion, olive oil, and your favorite herbs. The sweetness will surprise you. Also, don’t throw the leaves and stems away as they are packed with vitamins and minerals and are a perfect start to a vegetable stock or broth.
So little summer, So many dips!