Dip In To Yum!

Everyone has their go-to dips! Gooey, cheese fondue to classic sour cream and French onion to 7-layer Mexican—all perfect for almost any occasion from game day to patio parties.

But these days there are lots of creative, healthier spins to dips as well. We’re seeing less full-fat sour cream and more Greek yogurt and lighter mayos. Even this party staple can’t escape the better-for-you revolution!

Hummus is all the rage lately. Made with protein rich garbanzo beans, this is super, quick and easy to make from scratch, but is also available in a wide variety of flavors at your local grocery store. From roasted red pepper to sun-dried tomato, hummus is packing some serious flavor.

Creamy white bean dips are also popular and fall into the better-for-you category as well. We are even seeing “edamame hummus” popping at stores like Whole Foods!

It’s fun and tasty to layer dips too – like in my sophisticated Tuscan White Bean Dip Layered with Green Olive and Lemon Tapenade. Start with a creamy, rich white bean base and top with some bold flavored green olive and lemon tapenade – this flavor combo is sure to delight your next houseguests!

We all love to dip with potato and tortilla chips, but you can lighten up your dippables, too! Try something new like baked pita chips, rice crackers for gluten-free options, as well as fresh endive leaves, slices of crunchy fennel, colorful bell pepper pieces and French radishes. What a great way to add some color to your plate as well!

Get out of your dip rut, lighten up and try something new! –Kathy

Tuscan White Bean Dip Layered with Green Olive and Lemon Tapenade
I love to make the tapenade with those brilliant green Castelvetrano olives available at olive bars. If you want to take some extra time and pit them rather than buying pitted jarred olives, it is worth it! I like to serve this dip with pita chips or rustic crackers.

Makes 3 cups, or about 8 to 10 servings

Dip
1 (15-ounce) cans white beans, drained well
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
3 cloves fresh garlic, peeled
pinch of red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon very finely minced lemon zest
1 teaspoon very finely minced fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Tapenade
1 1/2 cups pitted manzanilla or other green olives, drained
1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon very finely minced lemon zest
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil or oil from sun-dried tomatoes
1/4 cup coarsely chopped Italian parsley
1/4 cup finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained

Garnish: extra-virgin olive oil and fresh rosemary sprig

To make the dip: In a food processor, combine the drained beans, cheese, if using, and garlic, and process for about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the pepper flakes, lemon juice and zest, rosemary and salt. With the motor running, add the oil through the feed tube in a slow stream. Process until smooth. Taste for salt and adjust if desired. Store the dip, covered and refrigerated, for up to 3 days.

To make the tapenade: In a food processor, combine the olives, garlic, lemon juice and zest, and oil, and pulse till the ingredients are thoroughly chopped, but still have some coarseness to them. Add the parsley and sundried tomatoes and pulse until just integrated. The tapenade can be stored, covered and refrigerated, for up to 1 week.

To serve: Put the dip in a pretty bowl, smooth out the surface, then layer the tapenade on top. Drizzle with a tiny bit of olive oil, and garnish with the rosemary.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Posted by Kathy Casey on March 29th, 2013  |  Comments Off |  Posted in appetizers, Cocktails, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, other, Recent Posts, Recipes, sides

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