Okay I know that yesterday was the first day of spring and all…but this dip was just too good to not share with you.
Esteban from Chicano Eats is hosting this amazing and fun virtual dip party with Good Health Snacks, and we’re all invited! #EnjoyDippingGood
However, you’ll notice that everyone is on board with the summery salsas and guacs (see the complete list below!). My baked goat cheese dip is a little confusing in this context. It’s kind of like when you’re watching a reality TV competition show and there’s that one person who is interpreting the challenge completely differently than everyone else, and it’s either a disaster or they win. Well I’m not trying to brag, but it’s definitely not a disaster over here.
It’s actually one of those situations where I mastered roasting red peppers at home all thanks to Julia Turshen. Then I realized that all warm dips are great dips, and it kind of snowballed from there. Of course I can’t get enough of goat cheese considering I’ve talked about the science of its taste several times (it is pretty fascinating though…). Add in fresh cucumbers and radishes for crunch and earthiness, and this is a flavor combination that I associate with spring: when that gray weather pops up, but you’re hopeful for the sunny weather. Creamy and comforting while also fresh, I think this dip should hold you over until the summery celebrations really begin. (And also it’s delicious, so you should probably plan on eating it all the time)
But back to this roasted red pepper technique. Roasted red peppers are sweet and savory and silky, but from the jar in the grocery store, they’re mushy and metallic tasting. To make them at home, you see all these scary videos of cooks rotating red peppers on top of the gas flame of their stove until blackened and smoking. Here, we do all hands-off. Much less scary. The broiler makes short work of our red peppers while we sip our wine and watch. Thanks for the tip Julia!
The science of these babies? We all remember the magic of roasting, right? Well this is a speedy roasting process. The extreme heat of fire, or in this case, the fire from the broiler, blisters and burns the outside of the pepper. The skin, which is relatively dry compared to the rest of the pepper, burns quickly while the flesh of the red pepper, which is pretty thin, roasts quickly.
When the flesh of the red pepper roasts, water begins to evaporate and plant cells break down softening the texture. It also concentrates the flavors as water leaves the cells creating a much sweeter pepper.
Once we’ve blistered the skin of our pepper, we seal the pepper in a container so that we trap the steam from the red pepper. That steam, with nowhere to go, bounces around inside the container and creates a humid environment with some going back into the pepper’s flesh. That increase in moisture of the pepper flesh causes the blistered skin to further separate making it easy-peasy to peel off. And there you have it! Soft and sweet peppers which make a perfect addition to so many things. Particularly this dip! (Also try it in this homemade hummus if you’re feeling really dippy)
Good Health Snacks provided the chips to help this virtual dipping party go off without a hitch, but all opinions are my own. Such as this one: their snacks aim to put more vegetables in your snacking diet in a delicious little chip package. So pair this dip with their original sea salt Eat Your Vegetables Chips.
Check out all of the other fantastic recipes, have some friends over, and get to dippin’! #EnjoyDippingGood
Roasted Red Pepper, Thyme, and Goat Cheese Dip
Roasted Red Peppers
Technique from Small Victories
2 red bell peppers, halved, seeded, and deveined
- Put an oven rack at the position approximately 6 inches from your broiler. For me this was the second notch from the top.
- Line a half sheet pan with aluminum foil. Place the prepped bell pepper halves on the pan with the skin-side facing up.
- Turn the broiler on in your oven to high. Let heat up for a couple of minutes. Slide the pan onto the oven rack underneath the broiler and broil for 5 minutes. Turn the pan 180⁰ and broil for another 5 minutes. Continue until the skins are completely blackened. This will differ in time depending on the strength of your broiler.
- Once the red peppers are done, slide the tray out of the oven and immediately transfer them to a large bowl sealing the top with plastic wrap to trap the steam.
- Leave the bowl alone for 10 minutes or until the peppers are cool enough to handle.
- Peel the blackened skin off, running the peppers until cool water to rinse them clean. Place the rinsed peppers on a paper towel and pat dry. Use immediately or put in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to a week. If storing for longer, slice into strips, cover in olive oil and seal. Keep in the fridge for up to a month.
8 ounces goat cheese, softened
3 tablespoons Greek yogurt
1 ½ tablespoons thyme leaves, separated
4 cloves garlic, skins removed and smashed
2 roasted red peppers
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup Cucumber, roughly diced
1 radish, thinly sliced
- Preheat your oven to 375⁰F.
- In the bowl of a food processor, add the goat cheese, Greek yogurt, 1 tablespoon of thyme leaves, and the garlic cloves. Roughly chop one of the roasted red pepper halves and add to the bowl. Pulse until smooth. Taste and add the salt and pepper as desired. You may want more or less salt. Pulse to combine.
- Pour the mixture into the center of an 8-inch oven-safe skillet (such as a cast iron skillet which will help keep the dip hot for a while after baking). Slice the remaining roasted red peppers into long strips and arrange around the dip. If you can do it in a way that isn’t as butt-ugly as mine, bonus points!
- Drizzle the top with olive oil, about 1 tablespoon, and sprinkle the remaining thyme leaves over the top of everything.
- Pop into the preheated oven and bake for about 15 minutes. You should see the top just slightly brown, but that’s it.
- Remove from the oven and let cool briefly. Top with diced cucumber and sliced radishes as desired. Serve with crackers, chips, sundried tomatoes, and glasses of champagne. Dig in!