We first ran this trio of healthy dip recipes from Claire Thomas of Kitchy Kicthen in 2017! Dips for dinner is our favorite lazy-healthy dinner. hack. Otherwise, drizzle the pesto over roasted veggies and grilled fish, pair the white bean dip with raw veggies and seed crackers for a quick and easy app, or layer the eggplant into a collared green wrap.
During the summer, I love meals made up of a bottle of wine and a platter of loveliness. This usually means cheese and charcuterie, but today I’m experimenting with clean vegetable dip recipes and fresh produce. All of these dips are incredibly easy to whip up and are the perfect canvases to introduce your favorite flavors. First, a couple of tips:
Fresh Lemon Pesto: I used to get so upset by browning pesto – until I tried adding fresh lemon juice. Now my pesto stays fresh and bright, with a lovely bite of acid to lift all of the flavors.
White Bean Dip: This is so incredibly simple, and practically addictive with a few slices of crusty, sourdough bread. If you can, cook the beans yourself; you’ll get better flavor and texture this way.
Roasted Eggplant Fennel Dip: If you wanted to load up one of these dips with heady spices, this recipe is the perfect canvas. Cumin, paprika, chiles, fresh mint, goat cheese… Honestly, there are so many ways this can be updated and tweaked.
Dairy-Free Lemon Pesto
2 handfuls fresh basil leaves
1/2 lemon, juiced
4 garlic cloves
1/3 cup blanched almonds
1/3 cup olive oil
salt to taste
Combine everything in a food processor, drizzling in the olive oil bit by bit, until you have reached the desired texture. Season with salt.
White Bean + Sage Dip
2 cups cannelini beans, cooked
reserved bean water
2 Tbsp unsalted grass-fed butter
2 sage sprigs
salt to taste
If you’re going to cook your own beans, which I recommend, combine the beans in a pot with 8 cups of water. Add a few cloves of garlic, a sprig of rosemary or thyme and a pinch of dried chili flakes. Bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer and cover. Cook for 4 hours, or until the beans are quite tender.
Drain the beans and save the water.
In a pan over medium-low heat, combine the butter and sage. Let the butter melt, foam, and then brown. Once it is fragrant and golden, immediately pour off into a glass or ceramic bowl – otherwise it will continue to brown.
Combine the beans and half the butter in a food processor. Puree, adding bean water as needed. Season with salt and drizzle with remaining browned butter.
Roasted Eggplant + Fennel Dip
1 large eggplant, halved
2 fennel bulbs, quartered
3 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp oregano
1 Tbsp parsley
salt, to taste
Preheat oven to 425F.
Place the fennel and eggplant on a baking sheet, coating lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and roast for about 20 to 30 minutes, until very tender and golden brown. Let the vegetables cool a bit. Scoop the eggplant out of its skin and place it, along with the fennel, into the food processor.
Add garlic, oregano, parsley and puree. Add olive oil as needed. Season with salt.