Take a Dip This Summer

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Summer time has us thinking about taking a dip – but not in a pool, a lake, or a river. We're thinking about taking a dip with a piece of bread, chips, or vegetables into a bowl of something tasty. Dips make the perfect summer food! They're easy to make with summer ingredients like gourmet olives, often don't require cooking (a plus when the weather heats up), and they travel well to parties, camping trips, or other events.

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Take a Dip This Summer
Image Credit: avlxyz

Traditional Flavors
There are a few dip recipes that can be considered summer staples. These delicious dips are used time and again because they taste great and remind us of times past. Some old favorites include the classic spinach dip, a tangy artichoke dip, and zesty French onion dip.

Make these dips even better this summer by using the best ingredients. For example, use a combination of onions for French onion dip like Vidalia sweet onions, shallots, or Texas 1015 onions. Instead of frozen spinach, use fresh spinach instead for a more flavorful dip or substitute kale, chard or other greens for spinach. Olives are also an excellent touch to a wide variety of summer dips.

Going Global
Dips feature prominently in many international cuisines and offer something a little different than the usual standbys. Many people are familiar with hummus, a Middle Eastern dip made from garbanzo beans. But several other dips also highlight various regions around the globe.
  • From Greece, try tzatziki, a dip made from cucumbers and Greek yogurt. It's tangy, creamy, refreshing, and does not require any cooking. This dip stands on its own paired with flatbread and vegetables, and also makes a good accompaniment to grilled chicken or atop hamburgers.
  • Baba ghanoush is another Mediterranean dip made from roasted eggplants, tahini, and lemon juice. This dish is similar to hummus and goes great with pita bread. 
  • Head to the south of France to find tapenade, a dip made from gourmet olives, anchovies, capers and olive oil. Spread on crusty bread or crackers, it makes for great hors d'oeuvres or side dishes.
These dips can spice up the usual routine and add something new to a traditional picnic spread or summer barbecue.

Spice Things Up
Salsa might be the ultimate dip, as there's basically no limit on the creativity a chef can bring to a personalized recipe using salsa. Fresh salsa is particularly a great dip to make in the summer when tomatoes, peppers, and fresh herbs explode in backyard gardens.

For a new twist on this old favorite, try some of these creative ideas:
  • Fruit salsas made with watermelon, mango, peaches or pineapple;
  • Salsas using roasted corn as a main ingredient;
  • Tomatillo salsas;
  • Hot and spicy salsas made with the fiery habanero pepper;
  • Avocado salsas;
  • Or thick and hearty salsas using beans. 
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No matter what type of dip you end up buying or making, be sure to take a dip of some sort this summer and open your work to the infinite culinary possibilities that dips can bring.
Tina Turner
About the Author:

Tina Turner is a food enthusiast and home cooking expert who in her free time enjoys blogging about new recipes and food from various culture.

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