My hubby and I are both dip-a-holics.
And with summer’s garden bounty here tempting us to think outside the box when it comes to using all that it has to offer us, we’re craving bold, smoky flavors inspired by grilling, coupled with eye-popping colors and cool, creamy textures that can be whirled together into some glorious concoction and either dipped into or spread thickly—or even both!
I like a dip with a little body to it; something in-between a cream-based dip and a thicker hummus-style dip. And so combining the two sounded like a delicious thing to do right about now, making for a gloriously textured and super-boldly flavored dip to take us through all of our summer snacking and sharing.
Vibrant red bell peppers, red onions, green zucchini and purple eggplant are grilled and charred, then combined with the sweet-savory and deeply rich flavor of roasted garlic, plus chickpeas, sour cream, a hint of feta and fresh herbs for an out-of-this world and complexly scrumptious dip to indulge in.
Healthy and protein-packed, it’s the perfect dip to whip up and contribute to a summer cook-out spread, or for at-home afternoon or evening snacking that’s healthy and amazingly satisfying.
I’d like to thank the summer season, not for the sweltering heat that it’s about to throw our way; but for the gorgeous produce that it produces for us to indulge in, and for that unique flavor of smokiness that only summer grilling can provide.
It’s time to take our dips to a bolder level, and bring them out of the realm of the expected, and into the realm of the unexpectedly delicious and savory. It’s time to get together around good, seasonally-inspired food, and enjoy going where only the summer can take us.
Taste what’s good and pass it on.
Grilled Summer Veggie & Roasted Garlic Dip with Chickpeas, Creamy Feta and Fresh Herbs
by Ingrid Beer
Yield: Serves about 8-10
• 2 head garlic, tops cut off
• Canola oil
• Cracked black pepper
• 1 Chinese eggplant (or half of a very small eggplant), sliced lengthwise into ¼” thick slices
• 1 zucchini, sliced lengthwise into ¼” thick slices
• 1 red bell pepper, stem/top and bottom sliced off, then sliced around the core into 4 thin sections
• 1 red onion, sliced into ¼” thick circles (kept intact as much as possible)
• 2 cups sour cream
• ½ cup chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
• ¼ cup feta crumbles
• Zest of one lemon
• 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
• 1 tablespoon fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
• 1 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
• 1 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
• 3 green onions, green part only, finely chopped
-Preheat your oven to 400°.
-Drizzle the two garlic heads with a little oil, and top with a pinch or two of salt and cracked black pepper, and wrap each head tightly in a square of foil; place into oven and roast for 40 minutes; once roasted, remove from foil and allow them cool until they can be handled, at which point you will squeeze the softened cloves out of the papers, and set them aside.
-In the meantime, heat either your outdoor grill (equipped with a veggie basket), or an indoor grill pan; while that heats, drizzle a little oil, plus a couple of pinches of salt and cracked black pepper over the sliced veggies.
-When the grill/grill pan is hot, add a batch of the veggies, and grill about 2 minutes per side, or until well-charred and slightly tender; flip the veggies over, and grill on the other side for roughly another 2 minutes; repeat until all veggies are charred/grilled, and set them aside to allow them to cool.
-Once the veggies are cool, chop them fairly finely, and set them aside for a moment.
-Into the bowl of a food processor, add the roasted garlic cloves, the sour cream, the chickpeas, the feta crumbles and the lemon zest and juice, plus about ¾ teaspoon of salt and ¼ teaspoon of the cracked black pepper; process until smooth and well-blended.
-Scrape the sour cream mixture out into a large bowl, and fold in the finely chopped grilled veggies, plus the fresh herbs; check the seasoning to see if any additional salt or pepper if needed, then cover with plastic wrap and place into the fridge for at least 2 hours, or ideally overnight for the flavors to intensify.
-Enjoy cold with pita chips, veggie spears, chips or crackers, or spread over toast-rounds.