Every dip, like every food, has a season. So if warm, oozy baked brie is just the thing for winter, what's the best dip to serve come spring? Well, it should be cool and refreshing, and desperately crying for the attention of some crunchy, fresh from the farmers' market crudité. This creamy Parmesan dip — an ode to Caesar dressing — does just that, and more!
Mayonnaise-based appetizers hold a special place in my heart—I am Southern, after all. These hearty dips, however "low brow" they may seem, never make it to the end of a party. In fact, they are almost always the first to go. Why? Because they're delicious. (Hey, even food snobs can't resist an ooey, gooey dip!)
This robust Parmesan dip has all the makings of a perfect Caesar dressing: pungent garlic paste, a dollop of mustard, a squeeze of lemon, and anchovy paste are all key. The resulting flavors are bold, and they just so happen to fit right alongside mild, sweet vegetables of spring. It's a perfect match.
I haven't invented the wheel here or anything, but that's not what this is about. It's about feeding your friends and feeding them well. This dip sets you up to shine. You probably have all of the ingredients (half of the battle) and you can make it in advance (the other half of the battle). Now all you have to do is set it up, dump it out, and watch it disappear. The war on appetizers has been won!
How about you? What are your go-to dips for spring? Any with mayonnaise?
Creamy Parmesan Dip
Makes 2 heaping cups
mayonnaise, store bought or homemade
grated Parmesan cheese
garlic, smashed and rubbed into a paste
anchovy paste (optional)
Zest and juice from 1 lemon
Splash of Worcestershire sauce
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Crudités, for serving (see Recipe Notes)
Combine the all of the ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk until combined. Taste and adjust flavorings as desired. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or up to three days. Serve with assorted crudités.
The possibilities for a crudité platter are infinite, but here are a few of my favorites: green beans, asparagus, carrots, cherry tomatoes, snap peas, radishes, bell peppers, broccoli, new potatoes, croutons, bread sticks, and hard boiled eggs. Be sure to blanch the veggies to keep them crisp and bright!
Related: Classic Recipe: Green Goddess Dip
(Images: Nealey Dozier)