Just like with soup, I’ve found that there are endless combinations of ingredients that you can blend together to form a solid, irresistible dip. With soup, you’ve got your fundamental elements, which can vary to some degree, but will persistently be added for key flavor – i.e., garlic, onions, and celery. Same goes for spreads and dips.
I nearly always start out with a couple cloves of fresh garlic in the food processor (although not much more because raw garlic is pungent). Then I add a bean to create the bulk, making for a nice protein-centered base. Chickpeas, for a traditional hummus, black beans for a color-changer, white beans for a delicate or Italian spread, etc. etc. Then I go for tahini, or olive oil, or sometimes even peanut butter to create the rich, much needed creamy element of the dip. From there, I’ll decide on the spices, and then add one or two herbs to freshen things up.
Then, I simply let the magic of the food processor take over and do the work. Creating a dip/spread is really a simple process that leaves a lot of room for creativity.
The one below is not too wild, drawing from many of the same spices used in hummus. Feel free to go out on a limb and add in some of your own spices…Maybe those ones hidden in the back of the cupboard that don’t get many opportunities to shine. If you want a safe route, or simply a recipe to follow so you can unwind, stick with the spices below that will guarantee a delicious spread. (Although, I will make you choose between using cilantro and parsley.) If you do decide to venture out onto your own route, trust me, you can’t go too wrong. Just start with a small dosage of whatever herb/spice you’re experimenting with and go from there.
- -2 small-medium cloves garlic, about 1 tsp.
- -1-15oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
- -1/2 cup jarred roasted red peppers, drained
- -2 Tbsp. sesame tahini
- -1/2 tsp. cumin
- -1/4 tsp. cayenne (plus an extra pinch if you tend to like things on the spicier side)
- -1/2 tsp. salt
- -1/4 cup parsley or cilantro
- -Sliced veggies, crackers, or pita
- Process garlic in food processor. Add remaining ingredients, excluding parsley. Process until smooth.
- Add parsley, and pulse until combined. Serve with crudites, crackers, or pita.