Yesterday was that crossover point into true city summer. That point where it’s 86 degrees (not so bad!) but with 200% humidity (a different situation altogether).
That point when you’re riding in an air-conditioned subway car (probably squished in far too close to some stranger’s bare, outstretched armpit) and yet, despite the cool air, you can still feel that siiiingle bead of sweat sloooowly crawling down your back.
That point when those interesting… ahem… aromas, that occupy city streets are now…. heated.
But it’s not all unfavorable. We had some pretty kickass thunderstorm storm action last night- thanks to all that damp air (and more tonight!).
There are random young people promoting companies, handing out free cold beverages on the street (I was given a free watermelon lemonade at just the right thirsty moment!).
And hey! The official American kick-off of summer cook-outs is tomorrow! Burgers and dogs! Potato salad! Cold beer!… Nothin’ wrong with that.
But maybe some traditions deserve a little sprucing up!
My cousin, Nancy, posted on Facebook a few weeks ago, lamenting on the subject of Ranch dips. The comment was referring to an article containing summer recipes, many of which were… ranch-esque. And she confided that- she never really liked ranch flavor to begin with!
So this post was written with her in mind.
Here we have a few alternative options for those crudité platters, or bowls of tortilla/pita/etc. crispy snacks.
All recipes made a little over 1 cup of scrumptiousness. So double, triple, etc. according to the size of your guest list.
Creamy Avocado Dill Dip
1 1/4 cup Greek yogurt (I used Fagé 2%)
1 ripe Avocado
2 cloves of Garlic (peeled)
1/2 a medium Shallot (peeled)
1/3 cup fresh Dill
Juice of 1/4 of a Lemon
In a food processor, combine the garlic, shallot, scallions and dill. Pulse until uniformly minced. Place avocado and yogurt in a medium bowl and combine with a fork (a little mashing required). Add the minced mixture from the food processor to the yogurt mixture. Squeeze in the lemon juice, and mix together until combined. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Spicy Black Bean & Red Pepper Hummus
1 15-oz can of Black beans, rinsed & drained (I used Goya low-sodium)
1/2 of a small Red Pepper
1 clove Garlic (peeled)
1 small Jalapeno (seeded)
Juice of 1/2 a Lime
1 tbsp. Tahini
1 tsp. Cumin
1 to 1 ½ tbsp. Olive Oil
Red pepper flakes
In a food processor, combine garlic red pepper, and jalapeno. Pulse until uniformly minced. Add in the cumin, tahini, red pepper flakes. Add in the beans (I have to do this in smaller batches as I only have a mini food processor). Add the lime juice, and olive oil. Run the food processor until the mixture is smooth.
Note: The mixture is quite thick and… hummus-y, so I ended up putting a splash or two of cold water in as well to make the processing go more smoothly.
Simple Salsa Fresca
Yeah, okay, it’s not really a “dip” per se, but it is fresh, flavorful and scoop-able… it’s dip’s kooky, chunky relative.
1/2 a medium White onion (finely chopped)
1 large (or 2 medium) Tomatoes (diced)
1/2 medium Jalapeno (finely chopped)
1 clove Garlic (peeled and minced)
1/3 cup fresh Cilantro (finely chopped)
Juice of 1/2 a Lime
Combine all ingredients, onion through lime juice, mixing until uniform. Add salt and pepper to taste.
I was away visiting family last week in New England, so I’ll be catchin’ up on stuff and working THIS weekend. I’m thankful to have most of tomorrow off, though! The forecast is not very friendly, but hopefully we’ll have clear skies for some fireworks!
You will probably find me holed up in the apt, eating the leftover dip, and watching a patriotic Netlfix line up…. You know… old episodes of The West Wing… catching up on Scandal…
Nothin’ wrong with that either.
Have a happy 4th!!!