All-Purpose Spring Herb Dip

While it’s easy to purchase a bottle of ranch dressing or a tub of vegetable dip from the grocery store, making your own herb dip isn’t difficult. And I’m not referring to shaking a dehydrated seasoning packet into a carton of sour cream. Without the preservatives that are often added to store-bought versions to elongate shelf life, homemade herb dip is good for so much more than just eating with carrot and celery sticks. Here are some additional ways of utilizing the condiment beyond pairing with crudité:

  • drizzling into wraps and filled pitas
  • as a sandwich spread
  • as a salad dressing  
  • in a potato salad or slaw
  • as a sauce for poached fish or shrimp
  • as a dip for pita chips and hearty crackers
  • spooning over grain bowls
  • in an egg or chicken salad
  • as a topping for baked potatoes or a dip for potato wedges
  • dolloping on top of roasted vegetables

All-Purpose Spring Herb Dip.alert1 medical alerts

Rather than using the typical fat-laden, nutrient-poor base of mayonnaise and sour cream, this lightened up version uses protein-rich low-fat Greek yogurt instead. Greek yogurt generally contains less sugar, much more protein and more probiotics than regular yogurt due to having most of its whey strained out. This results in a thicker, creamier product that works exceptionally well in dips.  

In this recipe, the yogurt is thinned out with a bit of buttermilk, which provides additional tang. A blend of delicate spring herbs (chives, parsley, tarragon and basil) gives the dip vibrant flavor, while lemon zest adds a fresh floral note, and shallot and garlic provide a savory allium punch. You can even customize the combination of herbs if there are other types that you prefer, such as dill, chervil or mint. There aren’t that many ingredients in the mix, and that’s the whole point.

Use this dip at snack time, as part of your lunch or dinner, or bring it to your next springtime get-together. Whether it’s used for dunking vegetables into or another purpose altogether, you won’t be disappointed by this versatile dip.

Go Greek (Yogurt)

greek yogurt dip.medical alert system

Don’t be tempted to substitute regular yogurt for the Greek yogurt, or the consistency will be too loose. If there is an herb you don’t care for in the mix, use an equal amount of another herb or two to make up the difference. The dip will keep, refrigerated, for up to 3 days.

Ingredients

lemon juice.alert1 medical alerts

3/4 cup low-fat Greek yogurt

1/4 cup buttermilk

2 tsp. fresh lemon juice

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest

2 Tbs. finely chopped chives

2 Tbs. finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

1 Tbs. finely chopped tarragon

2 Tbs. finely chopped basil

1 Tbs. finely chopped shallot

1/4 tsp. minced garlic

Cooking Instructions

1. In a medium bowl, stir together the yogurt, buttermilk, lemon juice and salt until smooth. Add the herbs, shallot and garlic and stir until combined.

2. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes to allow flavors to meld.

Makes about 1 1/4 cups.

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