Well, summer is here and the weather will soon start turning hotter. If you haven’t started your outdoor entertaining it’s not too late to begin. This time of year offers many opportunities for produce to play a roll in your 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 BPA-free can chickpeas, drained
*You may substitute with uncooked chickpeas, boiling and soaking overnight or for 1 hour
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.
Roasted Red Bell Pepper Hummus
As summer progresses the colored peppers are now 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.
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.
So much summer ahead, So many dips to make!