Summer Dips!

How about a couple of summertime dips to steal the show with your next plate of vegetables and crackers?  These two silky dips double well as dressing for grains, greens, beans or pasta if you prefer.  And it’s nice to have some alternatives to the ever-present hummus or ranch-type spread.  These fit the bill just perfectly.

Yield: 2 cups of sweet potato dip & 3/4 cup of roasted eggplant dip

PS – I won’t tell you how to roast the vegetables; there’s plenty of tutorials on the net that can help you for that…  For these dips (and most anything really), I usually do it on the charcoal grill outdoors to get that smoky BBQ taste.  If you do it in the oven, you could always add a dash of liquid smoke to the dips if you do want that oh so smokiness happening (it’s optional – the dips will still be fabulous without it).

What you need for the Sweet Potato Dip:

  • 2 cups roasted sweet potato (chunks, no peel)
  • 2 large cloves of roasted garlic
  • 6 tablespoons water (or to obtain desired consistency)
  • 2 tablespoons toasted walnut oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet brown rice vinegar

What you need for the Eggplant Dip:

  • 2/3 cup roasted eggplant (flesh, no peel)
  • 3 tablespoons tahini (sesame butter)
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon tamari
  • a 3″ piece of scallion, white and light green parts, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 to 1-1/2 teaspoons ginger juice (depends on how spicy you want the dip, to get ginger juice, grate some fresh ginger very finely and then squeeze the pulp to extract the juice.  measure the liquid)
  • a pinch (or two) of salt

What you do (both dips):

  1. Place all the ingredients in a mini food-processor or “Magic Bullet”-type small capacity mixer and blend until super smooth.  Depending on the water content of the vegetables and/or tahini, adjust the thickness of the dip by adding a small amount of water (a tablespoon at a time) if necessary.
  2. Transfer to a serving container.

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