Sunday, June 14, 2015

Fresh Herb Dips

Our herb bed is just outside the kitchen. I want the herbs close so I can grab a handful of fresh flavors when I'm cooking. Despite taking cuttings almost every day, the bed is packed so I'm always looking for new ways to use herbs. These dips help use the excess.

Throughout the summer, I keep a variety of dips in the fridge. Along with fresh vegetables from the garden, the dips make a quick side. Throw burgers on the grill and a meal is ready in 15 minutes. And in addition to great, fresh flavor, these dips are healthy and filling.

Removing the liquid from the cucumbers will keep the Yogurt Dill Cucumber Dip
 thick and creamy. Start by chopping cukes, tossing with salt and allowing to sit for
an hour.  Rinse, drain, and squeeze to remove excess water. 

Easy peasy! Mix all the ingredients, refrigerate for a couple hours and enjoy!

Yogurt Dill Cucumber Dip (Tzatziki)
Adapted from World Vegetarian
Greek yogurt provides a tangy base for this dip. To use regular yogurt, drain in a cheesecloth lined strainer in the fridge for 3-4 hours.

1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 tsp salt
2 cups Greek yogurt
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
1 green onion, white part chopped
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/8 tsp garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine cucumber and 1 tsp salt in a small bowl. Cover and set aside for one hour. Rinse cucumber, drain and squeeze out excess liquid. Combine with remaining ingredients. Chill at least 2 hours before serving.

Herb & Feta Dip incorporates four distinct herbs for a fresh, bright flavor. 

Yogurt Dill Cucumber dip (left) and Herb & Feta dip (right).
Serve with fresh vegetables, crackers or pita wedges.

Herb & Feta Dip
From EatingWell
Once pureed, the beans make a creamy base that's enhanced by the addition of yogurt and feta. The flavor also pairs well with grilled chicken, lamb and vegetables.

1 15-ounce can white beans, rinsed
3/4 cup nonfat plain yogurt
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives

Place beans, yogurt, feta, lemon juice, garlic salt and pepper in a food processor and puree until smooth. Add herbs; puree until incorporated. Chill until ready to serve.