Ghanoush photographed on Wednesday, May 10, 2017.
Memorial Day and the heat of summer coming, it’s time to
take a dip.
is, it’s time to bring a dip to a summer picnic.
could stir a packet of dried onion soup into a tub of sour
cream, of course. It’s delicious, but everyone would know
exactly how much effort you spent on them (none). You could
buy a tub of hummus, but that involves even less effort —
and isn’t it kind of an insult to your family and friends
essentially to say, "I love you, but not enough to go
to any trouble for you"?
year, make your own dip. It’s fun, it tastes great and it
shows you care enough to mix the very best.
the cool thing is, you can even make your own version of
that ever-popular dried onion soup dip. Your friends and
family will know it’s not the instant version because its
taste is richer. Rounder. Fuller.
only takes a minute or two longer to make than the one that
you open the package and pour.
you have to do is assemble the dried ingredients: minced
onions, onion powder, black pepper, sugar, dried parsley (or
fresh parsley) and the secret ingredient, beef bouillon
granules. Just mix them together, add sour cream and stir
— just like the old way of making it.
it to your friends and observe the subtle nods of approval
they give you when you casually mention that you made it
next dip I made was also familiar, baba ghanouj. If you’ve
never had baba ghanouj, think of it as a more sophisticated
version of hummus.
difference is eggplant. Baba ghanouj, which is also from the
Middle East, uses grilled eggplant instead of chickpeas for
its main ingredient. The grilling gives it a smoky flavor
that appeals to a lot of people.
not me. I prefer hummus to baba ghanouj precisely because it
does not taste smoky. So when I made the eggplant-based dip,
I simply roasted the vegetables in the oven instead of
did the trick. Now it had that unmistakable eggplanty flavor
(plus tahini, lemon, garlic) without being overwhelmed by
terrific. I very much recommend making it this way. And if
you miss the smoke, you can always sprinkle in a little
next dip takes the flavors of Mexico and gives them a
distinctly Asian vibe. Hipster chefs may think that mashing
together Mexican and Asian cuisines is the newest trend on
the planet, but they need to know that Daniel Boulud came up
with this recipe way back in 1993 — before some of the
younger hipster chefs were even born.
one of the most acclaimed chefs in the world, Boulud
introduced the recipe in his first book, "Cooking with
Daniel Boulud." Avocado dip with sesame seeds is
essentially guacamole (though without the garlic) mixed with
a taste of dark sesame oil and topped with toasted sesame
result is a more complex version of guacamole. The darkly
mysterious sesame oil plays wonderfully off the brightness
of the avocado and lime.
might think it wouldn’t work, but it absolutely does.
last dip, like baba ghanouj, was from the Middle East.
Muhammara is perhaps more of a spread than a dip, but that
amounts to nearly the same thing. Besides, it is wildly
(the word means brick, because it is about the same color)
is made from roasted red peppers and walnuts puréed
together with olive oil into a coarse paste. But there is
more to it than that: a pleasant bite from chopped
scallions, the lively acid of a dash of lemon juice, the
enjoyable heat from crushed red peppers and the
indispensable depth of cumin.
one more ingredient: pomegranate molasses. If you’ve never
had it, pomegranate molasses is just about the best thing
ever; it’s tart, but it’s enlivened with a little
can buy it for a couple of bucks at a Middle Eastern store
or an international food market. I usually try to avoid
writing about ingredients that require a special trip, but
pomegranate molasses is a happy exception.
you’ve used it to make muhammara, you’ll want to try it
in everything — salad dressings, drinks, meat glazes,
vegetable glazes and more. Or maybe you’ll just want to
hoard it to make nothing but muhammara.
just that good.
INSTANT ONION SOUP DIP
teaspoons beef bouillon granules
tablespoons dried minced onions
teaspoon onion powder
teaspoon black pepper
teaspoon granulated sugar
teaspoon dried parsley or 11/2 teaspoons fresh parsley
ounces sour cream
the seasoning ingredients in a small bowl and set aside
until ready to use. Place the sour cream in a medium bowl
and stir in the dip mix. Refrigerate for at least 30
minutes, preferably 1 hour, and up to 1 day. Serve with
potato chips and crudités.
serving: 160 calories; 15 g fat; 9 g saturated fat; 39 mg
cholesterol; 2 g protein; 5 g carbohydrate; 4 g sugar; no
fiber; 330 mg sodium; 90 mg calcium
by the Daring Gourmet
2 or 3
medium eggplants (about 3 pounds total)
2 to 3
tablespoons olive oil
cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
teaspoon smoked paprika, optional
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Rub the outside of each
eggplant with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and place them
in a roasting pan or on a baking sheet. Roast the eggplants
until the skin has charred and the interior is tender, 15 to
Peel and seed the cooked eggplant. Roughly chop the flesh
and then transfer it to the bowl of a food processor.
Into the processor add the tahini, garlic, lemon juice and
salt and pepper to taste, along with a few teaspoons of cold
water. Process the mixture to a coarse paste, adding a bit
more water if needed to allow the mixture to blend.
Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper to taste and add
optional smoked paprika for a smoky taste. Serve with wedges
of pita or crudites.
serving: 103 calories; 8 g fat; 1 g saturated fat; no
cholesterol; 2 g protein; 9 g carbohydrate; 4 g sugar; 4 g
fiber; 9 mg sodium; 38 mg calcium
by David Kamen of the Culinary Institute of America, via
Dip with Sesame Seeds
4 to 6 servings
bell pepper, split lengthwise, stem and seeds discarded
tablespoon sesame seeds
avocados (about 1 pound), peeled, pitted and cut into chunks
and zest of 1 lime
tablespoons sour cream
teaspoon dark sesame oil
tablespoon shallots, finely chopped
springs cilantro, leaves only, finely chopped
drops Tabasco sauce
Preheat the broiler. Place the pepper halves under the
broiler skin side up. Broil them until the skin turns black,
about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove the peppers from the heat,
let cool, wash the skin off under cold running water and pat
dry. Finely dice the roasted pepper and set aside.
Toast the sesame seeds in a dry pan over medium heat or
under the broiler, tossing often for 1 to 2 minutes until
golden, and set aside.
the avocados, lime juice and zest, sour cream, sesame oil,
shallots, cilantro and Tabasco with a fork in a bowl. Add
salt to taste.
Scoop the dip into a shallow serving dish or bowl. Shape the
dip into a rounded dome with a fork and sprinkle the top
with the toasted sesame seeds. Arrange the red pepper dice
in a ring at the base of the dome. Serve with tortilla
chips, country bread, cold, grilled chicken wings or as a
dressing with steamed shrimp, lobster or stone crab claws.
serving (based on 4): 214 calories; 19 g fat; 3 g saturated
fat; 4 mg cholesterol; 3 g protein; 13 g carbohydrate; 3 g
sugar; 8 g fiber; 56 mg sodium; 29 mg calcium
from "Cooking with Daniel Boulud," by Daniel
(RED PEPPER AND WALNUT SPREAD)
About 6 servings
large red bell pepper
cup chopped scallions (3 to 4 scallions)
teaspoon lemon juice
teaspoon ground cumin
teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
teaspoons pomegranate molasses, divided, see note
teaspoon crushed red pepper, divided
tablespoons olive oil, divided
cup walnuts, lightly toasted
4 to 6
tablespoons bread crumbs
Pomegranate molasses is available at Middle Eastern markets
and international food stores.
roast the pepper, preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place the
pepper on a foil-covered baking sheet and cook 25 minutes,
or until charred all over. Place in a closed paper bag or
wait a couple of minutes and wrap thoroughly in plastic
wrap. After 15 minutes, the skin will come off easily in
your fingers. Remove and discard the stem and seeds.
Combine pepper, scallions, lemon juice, cumin, salt, 2
teaspoons of the pomegranate molasses, 1/2 teaspoon of the
crushed red pepper, 4 tablespoons of the olive oil and all
but 2 of the walnuts in a food processor and purée until
4 tablespoons of the bread crumbs and pulse to combine. If
mixture is too loose to hold its shape, add the remaining
bread crumbs and pulse again. Season to taste with salt and
crushed red pepper.
Scrape into a bowl and make a well in the center with the
back of a spoon. Drizzle the remaining 1 tablespoon olive
oil, the remaining 1 teaspoon pomegranate molasses and the
remaining 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes in the well. Crush
the reserved walnuts between your fingers and sprinkle over
serving: 249 calories; 22 g fat; 3 g saturated fat; no
cholesterol; 3 g protein; 12 g carbohydrate; 4 g sugar; 2 g
fiber; 373 mg sodium; 39 mg calcium
by the New York Times, adapted from Ana Sortun