Your best dips to go with raw or steamed vegetables!
June 6, 2011 6:58 AM   Subscribe

What are your best dips to go with raw or steamed vegetables? As part of bringing lunch to work everyday, I'd like that many of those lunches consist of raw or steamed vegetables with a simple sauce or dip. I'm very open-minded to ethnic flavors, spiciness, sweet and umami flavors... surprise me! My preferred vegetables are bell peppers, cucumber, and broccoli, but you are welcome to convince me of other optimal pairings.

Limits? I hate eggplant and pickles and pickled things, and don't like very eggy things. Recipes based on a name-brand pre-made products are out because I probably don't have access to it (e.g. Kraft Ranch Lite Dressing).

On the other hand, I'm not actually a vegetarian or anything special, so something requiring animal products is fair game.
posted by whatzit to Food & Drink (34 answers total) 101 users marked this as a favorite
posted by matlock expressway at 7:03 AM on June 6, 2011

sour cream! it's delicious!
posted by Cloud King at 7:05 AM on June 6, 2011

posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 7:07 AM on June 6, 2011

Response by poster: Okay I have the basics down. I was aiming more for recipes and new flavors. Sorry if it wasn't clear!
posted by whatzit at 7:08 AM on June 6, 2011

Honey Mustard
Sour Cream & Salsa (Pre-made or mix yourself)
posted by pyro979 at 7:08 AM on June 6, 2011

Pico de gallo...
posted by jim in austin at 7:09 AM on June 6, 2011

Best answer: I hate eggplant

Nooooooo! I was going to recommend kashk e bademjoon, a Persian eggplant-and-whey-based dip spread thing, as it's FREAKING DELICIOUS, but alas. The most difficult part is locating the whey paste stuff. If you're feeling adventurous, depending on what specific qualities of eggplant it is that you dislike, you should try it. The eggplants are cooked down and mashed completely, so there is absolutely no discernible eggplant texture, and the taste is not EGGPLANT EGGPLANT, but a really weird, delicious, undefinable flavor that comes from the whey, caramelized onions, and eggplants all working together in harmony. My boyfriend's mom made a pot of it for us once, and she became my favorite person on the planet ever. SO GOOD.

That said, thekitchn did a whole dip/spread series last summer, and their final roundup of recipes is here. The white bean dip is good.
posted by phunniemee at 7:09 AM on June 6, 2011 [1 favorite]

Sorry, left it out in all my excitement: Kashk recipe.
posted by phunniemee at 7:11 AM on June 6, 2011 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: phunniemee, that is the stuff I am looking for! You almost have me sold on the kashk e bademjoon, despite the eggplant, and thekitchn project sounds awesome.
posted by whatzit at 7:11 AM on June 6, 2011

Best answer: I wholeheartedly recommend The Saucy Vegetarian (a book) by Joanne Stepaniak. It's full of super easy recipes that would work beautifully as dips, and they all come together in like 5 minutes. She suggests what to serve the sauces & dips with, too. And being vegetarian isn't a requirement :)
posted by pupstocks at 7:12 AM on June 6, 2011 [1 favorite]

Nerr, also meant to add that she has a worksheet thingy for helping you work out how to create your own dip/spread/sauce recipes. You can search inside on amazon and see a few of her sample recipes and the categories, etc., in the book.
posted by pupstocks at 7:13 AM on June 6, 2011

Also Previously.

Out of my cooking bookmarks (mind you, I haven't tried this, but it looks good =c)
Beet Hummus
posted by pyro979 at 7:13 AM on June 6, 2011 [1 favorite]

Best answer: It's all about muhammara. YUM YUM YUM.
posted by cider at 7:13 AM on June 6, 2011 [2 favorites]

(Ah yes -- on non-preview, I think I got that muhammara recipe from amelioration in that "Previously" thread that pyro979 linked to. Thanks, amelioration!)
posted by cider at 7:15 AM on June 6, 2011

How am I the first to get in here with aïoli? See especially aïoli garni (pix). Yes, with eggs, but certainly not "very eggy." (I would think? Unless the eggy bar is set very low)

I've used leftover Welsh rarebit as a veg dip -- not bad.
posted by kmennie at 7:31 AM on June 6, 2011

My favourites are this blue cheese dressing (so good with cherry tomatoes), this mustard aioli, and this ranch dip.
posted by neushoorn at 7:43 AM on June 6, 2011

Green goddess dressing made with watercress! This stuff is DELICIOUS.
posted by teragram at 7:44 AM on June 6, 2011

Bagna cauda!

Also, we get little artichokes in big cans from the Italian market, then make artichoke mayonnaise from the oil they come packed in - it's fantastic!
posted by nicwolff at 7:45 AM on June 6, 2011 [1 favorite]

Best answer: How about a puree made from beans or other vegetables? The New American Plate has a recipe for broccoli, white bean and garlic puree.

Mark Bittman has a similar recipe.

Bittman also did an article with a basic recipe for making a puree out of just about any kind of vegetable, along with a video of him doing that on the Today Show. But he has so many blogs/websites/columns that I cannot remember which one it was, and doing a few searches didn't turn anything up.
posted by LaurenIpsum at 7:49 AM on June 6, 2011 [2 favorites]

For fresh veggies, I like to mix hot sauce and ranch dressing. For steamed, try some okonomiyaki or tonkatsu sauce (they taste similar, but the okonomiyaki sauce is a bit sweeter).
posted by specialagentwebb at 7:52 AM on June 6, 2011

Greek yogurt (I like the nonfat) mixed with Turkish seasoning. I assume other seasoning blends would work too.
posted by JoanArkham at 8:49 AM on June 6, 2011 [1 favorite]

Ajvar (roasted red peppers+eggplant relish) is very popular in eastern part of Europe.
This fava bean spread/dip looks lovely.
posted by leigh1 at 9:45 AM on June 6, 2011

Anything that includes mayo can be improved by substituting half-and-half with Greek yogurt.

If a Greek or Turkish grocery store is convenient, labnee (thickened yogurt) is wonderful by itself, or in combination with nearly anything.

A tin of Portuguese sardines (As Do Mar if you can find them) crushed with a fork and mixed with bread crumbs is a great spread.

2 cups Greek or Moroccan dry-cured olives, pitted
3 cloves garlic, chopped
6 ounces anchovy filets, drained and patted dry
16-ounce can good-quality canned tuna in oil, drained
½ cup capers, drained
1 tablespoon green peppercorns in brine, drained and chopped
¼ teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
½ cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons cognac
⅔ cup extra-virgin olive oil

Pulse all ingredients except oil in a food processor until just combined. With motor running, slowly pour in oil. Do not overprocess: the tapenade should have some chunkiness.
posted by KRS at 11:14 AM on June 6, 2011 [1 favorite]

Black-eyed Pea hummus.

Skorthalia/Skordalia might not be safe for work (it stinks. it makes you stink. you will sweat garlic. but it is so good.) unless you're not real close to anybody else.

Pesto. It's even better with some mayo or soft cream cheese mixed in.
posted by Lyn Never at 11:49 AM on June 6, 2011

Best answer: 2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon minced onion (green onion works too)
1 piece fresh ginger (about the size of a clove of garlic), minced fine
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon lime juice (or whatever you can get from the lime)
1 tablespoon of honey (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

Whisk together. Pour over any vegetable. Say hello to the mother of all veggie sauces!
posted by ohohcyte at 12:15 PM on June 6, 2011 [2 favorites]

Poi, I love poi.
posted by fifilaru at 3:17 PM on June 6, 2011

Mmm Sauce. I dare you to make it and not put it on everything you eat.
posted by ThatSomething at 5:46 PM on June 6, 2011

Sikil pak, an earthy, spicy Mayan pumpkin seed dip.

Creamy lemon tuna dip - 8 oz cream cheese, a 6 oz can of tuna in olive oil, a clove of garlic smooshed to a paste with coarse salt, juice of half a lemon. Smoosh it all together til smooth, season to taste.

Blitz a can of cannelini or butter beans in a food processor (or mortar and pestle, or a bowl with a fork); stir through olive oil, toasted cumin seeds and fresh parsley.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 6:55 PM on June 6, 2011

In the latest issue of the Food Network magazine, there is a spread of 30 or so condiments/dips and how to make them from scratch.
posted by shrimpsmalls at 7:08 PM on June 6, 2011

Best answer: I brought a dip to work tonight that turned out way better than I thought it would. Very spicy/tangy and bright tasting.

-half an avocado cubed
-a teaspoon or two of oil (I used macadamia nut, because that's what I had on hand)
-a big splash each of lemon and lime juice (maybe two tablespoons total?)
-a spoonful of Sambal Oelek.
(obviously adjust the ratios to your taste)

The avocado kind of melts into the rest of the dip, and stays really bright and fresh from the acid of the citrus juice. I ate it with cucumbers and tomatoes.
posted by Sweetchrysanthemum at 11:14 PM on June 6, 2011

Response by poster: Thank you!!! Amazon has "less than 10 copies remaining!" of the Saucy Vegetarian. Was that our fault?? It's on the way, and in the meantime, I am looking forward to trying some of these others (and some from the other thread - who uses dips and not dip as a tag??)

Lemme contribute another one - from an Afghan recipe I picked up a sauce that is
- yogurt (1 of the little cups) with
- minced garlic (2-3 cloves) and
- salt (1/2 to 1 tsp, I know, it is a lot) and
- mint, better fresh but dry ok
Perfect! It is originally for a roast pumpkin with tomato sauce dish, but I use it for everything.
posted by whatzit at 3:10 AM on June 7, 2011

Artichoke heart dip is unbelievably good, honestly, it sounds so simple you'd think there could be nothing special about it, but it's so, so good. A few months ago someone I'd served it to 3 years ago saw me in a shop and shouted right across the supermarket: "I still make that artichoke dip".
posted by penguin pie at 3:52 PM on June 7, 2011

This is a great sauce recipe. To turn it into a great dip, put all the ingredients in the blender/food processor, EXCEPT for the milk. Once the other ingredients have been blitzed, add the milk, just a tablespoon or two at a time, re-blitzing after each addition, until the dip reaches the desired consistency. Sorry for the sorta self-link.

And did you see elsa's cool idea over here for packing veggies and dip? Although I would suggest using a rinsed out plastic peanut butter jar, instead of a glass jar, for safer (and lighter) traveling.
posted by marsha56 at 9:11 PM on June 11, 2011

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