Remember “The Dip?” I put my hand up on your hip, when I dip, you dip, we dip. You put your hand up on my hip, when you dip, I dip, we dip… I think that song was lodged in my brain for a good few months in high school. It was a good one. Dips are good. Both the dancing and the eating kind.
I made two the other night, both are adapted from Mark Bittman’s How To Cook Everything. (The dip in the middle of the platter is an olive tapenade that I threw in there for presentation’s sake. I found it in the fridge. Trader Joe’s. Not nearly as tasty as the other two, might I add.)
The feta dip is particularly easy and quick and flavorful. It’s best in the summer with fresh herbs. We served it with sugar snap peas and sliced carrots, but it would be great with pita bread, crackers or slathered on a grilled veggie sandwich.
Feta, Yogurt and Herb Dip
Serves about 6 dippers
About 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 cup plain yogurt (whole or lowfat are best)
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1 teaspoon minced fresh oregano or 1/2 teaspoon dried
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh thyme or 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon minced fresh mint or 1/2 teaspoon dried
Lots of freshly ground pepper
Freshly squeezed lemon juice to taste (about a half of a lemon tastes good to me)
* Combine all ingredients in a medium sized bowl with a fork. Taste and add more lemon juice and a little salt if necessary.
* Garnish with extra parsley and serve with fresh veggies or crackers.
As for the hummus, I’ve made it before without the tahini and it works fine. So, if you don’t have any tahini lying around and you don’t want to buy it, don’t let that stop you! Without it, I just add more lemon juice, cut back on the garlic, and call it lemon hummus. But, the tahini does make it creamier and fluffier. Be sure to keep blending to get the consistency you desire.
Serves at least 6 dippers
2 cans of garbanzo beans, drained
1/2 cup tahini (optional)
1/4 cup mild olive oil or sesame oil from the top of the tahini
1-3 cloves garlic, peeled (Start with 1 clove, taste, then add more if you want. I use 2 cloves. With 3 your breath will be hummin’.)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 heaping tablespoon ground cumin
Juice of 2 lemons
About 1/3 cup water
* Toss everything but the water in the container of a food processor and switch it on; drizzle the water, a little at a time, as needed to make a smooth puree.
* Taste and add more of whatever you think it needs – salt, pepper, garlic, lemon juice, or cumin. Garnish with a sprinkle of paprika for color and a drizzle of olive oil. Serve with veggies, pita, crackers, or olives.