Creamy Green Herb Dip
This sauce, despite always being cobbled together from the remnants in my fridge, always seems to impress friends and family. It may seem like wizardry (quote my friend Alexis when I make this: You are a MAGICIAN), but all it takes is an assortment of green things, some pantry items, and a bit of tinkering. Got leftover herbs? A few stalks of hearty greens? Half a tub of ricotta, plain yogurt, or even just a jar of mayo in the back of the refrigerator? Then you can create a tangy, flavorful dip that’s perfect for raw vegetables or a bag of chips, Baked Root Veggie Fries, Potato Peel Crisps or chicken wings (recipes to come). Put it out at a party instead of buying a dip, and let all your friends revel in your magical new skills.
Note: given that you’re blending everything up into a paste, this is a perfect way to use up anything past its prime, and also to mix and match whatever you’ve got around. I’ve used everything from dried brown mint, collard greens with holes, yellowing kale, and bitter lettuce leaves. Try adding allium like wilted scallions or garlic scapes for more punch.
And if you don’t eat dairy? Try using an avocado - the riper the better - as your creamy component. Or just add some in anyway because more avocado always equals more delicious in my book.
The Rough Recipe
- 1 packed cup (or so) of assorted greens or herbs - basically any leafy herb or flavorful leafy green, from spinach to arugula to parsley to cilantro to kale
- Roughly ½ cup creamy sauce or condiment, such as mayonnaise, plain yogurt (Greek or regular), ricotta, sour cream, creme fraiche, cream cheese, etc.
- ¼ cup olive oil, or more to taste
- Splash of vinegar (your choice) or lemon juice
- Kosher salt
- A pinch of spice, such as curry powder or onion powder
- Finely minced or grated garlic
- Citrus zest
- Finely minced anchovies, capers, olives, or pickles
Put the greens, herbs, creamy sauce, oil, vinegar, and any optional add-ins into a blender, food processor, or tall, narrow container that fits a hand blender. Alternatively, finely chop all the greens and herbs and place in a bowl before adding the rest of the ingredients. Blend or whisk to combine until you have a smooth sauce. Taste - you may find you want it creamier, saltier, or more acidic - then add ingredients to your desired flavor and consistency. You'll probably want more oil if you used something plain and thick like Greek yogurt, less if you used something with more flavor like ricotta.
A few important things to keep in mind: It’s not just a dip! Use this sauce in place of mayonnaise on a sandwich as a more flavorful, nutritious option
You can also use this as the sauce in the ‘_____ Salad’ of your choice - potato salad, egg salad, chicken salad, tuna salad...you get the point. Just fold the cooked ingredients of your choice into the dip and add other vegetables, herbs, etc, as desired. If your vision of potato salad is a gloppy pile of potatoes drowning in mayonnaise, you can easily make a lighter version with a thin creamy dip.