Fresh challah and dips are one of my favorite beginnings at any meal, especially Shabbos. Shabbos is usually a time that II sit down and fully enjoy homemade bread with lots of flavorful toppings. Dips are also great for kiddush, while watching sporting events, and definitely for snacking. While buying dips can be time-saving, they are not only healthier (MUCH) homemade, but also budget friendly. The difference in flavor, texture and satisfaction is incomparable too. Dips are easy to make and keep well in the refrigerator for up to two weeks and can be frozen for up to three months. If you have any leftover, which I doubt, use them as a pasta topping, add a bit of olive oil and use as a marinade for chicken or fish, use as an omelet filling or topping a healthy baked potato or sweet potato.

Fire Roasted Eggplant Babaganoush

Makes 2 cups

Photo By: Feasting at Home

  • 1 large eggplant
  • 1 tablespoon store-bought tahini
  • Juice of ½ a lemon
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon zaatar
  • Garnish: sprinkle with paprika and herbs

Fire roast the eggplant using a stovetop flame on low to medium heat. Place the whole eggplant over the fire. Using tongs (be extra careful with safety here) rotate the eggplant to ensure all sides get a few minutes to soften. You will start to see the eggplant shrivel and some of the skin blacken and burn. This creates the desired consistency. Once the eggplant has been roasted on all sides remove from the fire, set aside and cool. When cool enough to handle, remove the skin. It should peel right off easily. Mash the pulp of the eggplant in a bowl. Stir in tahini, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and zaatar. Sprinkle with paprika and fresh herbs, if using.

* Pro tip- line the stovetop rack with foil for easier cleanup from the juices that may extract during the roasting process

Garden Fresh Herby Olive Dip

Makes 1 ½ cups

Photo By: Taste.com.au

  • 1 cup pitted green olives
  • 1 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • ¼ cup fresh mint
  • 1 tablespoons capers
  • 2 tablespoons (or a bit more) mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest

In a food processor combine all ingredients until desired consistency. It should be a bit thick and a little creamy.

Balsamic Pepper and Eggplant Dip

Makes 2 cups

Photo By: Physical Kitchness

  • 1 large eggplant, peeled and cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 2 red peppers, cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 1 head of garlic cloves
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Garnish: parsley or chopped chives

Preheat oven to 400°F. On a parchment lined baking sheet, spread eggplant and peppers and garlic cloves. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Toss to ensure all the veggies are coated.

Roast in the oven until slightly golden and charred (about 30 minutes). Remove from oven and cool. Place vegetables and garlic in a bowl. Add salt and pepper. With an immersion blender or a potato masher, puree until chunky or until desired consistency. Garnish with fresh parsley or chopped chives.

Sautéed Onion and Roasted Garlic Dip

Makes 1 ½ cups

Photo By: Tori Avey

  • 2 heads of garlic
  • ¼ cup olive oil plus 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Pinch of rosemary

Preheat the oven to 400°. Slice off the top of both garlic heads horizontally, allowing the garlic head to stay in tack while the cloves are all exposed. Drizzle a tablespoon of olive oil over each garlic head and wrap tightly with aluminum foil. Place heads of garlic on baking dish and roast for about 40 minutes. Your kitchen will begin to smell heavenly! Cool slightly.

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook, stirring over medium heat for about 12 minutes until soft and golden. Squeeze roasted garlic and excess oil into cooked onions and mix until blended. Add remaining 4 tablespoons olive oil, salt and rosemary. Mash slightly to coarse consistency or puree with an immersion blender until emulsified but still chunky.

“Cheesy” Broccoli Dip

Makes 3 cups

Photo By: Real Simple

  • 1 (12 - 16 ounce) bag of frozen broccoli florets, thawed
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast (available in health food stores and national markets with hecksher)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon paprika

Preheat oven to 400°F. Place broccoli in a single layer on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with a little kosher salt. Roast until tops are golden and crispy, about 30 minutes. Cool. In a food processor, blend broccoli and all remaining ingredients to desired consistency.

Miso Ginger Carrot Dip

Makes 1 ½ cups

Photo By: New York Times Cooking

  • 1 lb bag of carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 ½ tablespoons honey
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup white miso paste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger (or 6 - 8 frozen ginger cubes as well)
  • 2 chopped scallions
  • 1 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds

Preheat oven to 400°F. On a lined baking sheet toss chopped carrots, onion, olive oil and honey. Roast about 25 minutes until soft and slightly golden. Cool.

In a food processor, blend the roasted carrot onion mixture, with water, miso, ginger, scallions, and rice vinegar. Serve with sprinkled sesame seeds if desired.

Minty Pistachio Zaatar Dip

Makes 1 cup

Photo By: Two Purple Figs

  • ¼ cup of chopped fresh mint leaves
  • ¼ cup of roasted, salted, shelled pistachios
  • 2 tablespoon chopped pitted Kalamata olives
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons Zaatar spice
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Garnish: pomegranate seeds
  • Pita bread for serving

In a food processor, puree all ingredients until smooth. Serve with pita and sprinkle with pomegranate seeds.

Easy Peasy Pesto

Makes 1 cup

Photo By: Downshiftology

  • 11 frozen basil cubes
  • 7 frozen garlic cubes
  • ½ cup toasted pine nuts
  • ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

With an immersion blender or a food processor, blend until smooth.