The first time I made any kind of a dip I was still living at home. I got the recipe from some jar and it called for equal parts of mayo and sour cream, pressed garlic, and herbs. It was glorious. Crisp, cool vegetables blanketed by a creamy and salty dip were so delicious and addictive that I kept being asked to make this dip on every possible occasion. That was before I began my anti-mayonnaise existence.
Later, once I graduated from university, moved into my own apartment, and started learning to cook, I became the self-proclaimed Queen of Dips. I was actually pretty terrible in making up my own dishes. I was also worse than I care to admit at modifying recipes. Stepping one or two steps away from prescribed instructions resulted in inevitable and inedible disasters. That is until I started making dips. For some reason, I could take any white and creamy ingredient, add other ingredients and turn it into a satisfying mixture that would disappear from my dinner table in a few short minutes. I made dips with sour cream and feta, strained plain yogurt and herbs, cream cheese and roasted peppers. I made them all salty, creamy, and sans mayo.
A few years ago, trying to eat a little healthier, I started using Cottage Cheese as the base for a dip. Yes, I used that diet food of grainy bland curds. I pulsed the cottage cheese in my food processor, added herbs, garlic and it turned out really good. Smooth and hefty, pungent and salty.
This dip is not just delicious, but also healthy, full of calcium and bright herb flavour. You can use any kind of cottage cheese you have, be it full fat or non-fat. Just remember that non-fat version needs to get its flavour from somewhere, and the non fat cottage cheese is usually full of salt and sugar, so you'd need to adjust your seasoning accordingly. I use whatever cottage cheese I can find at Costco. I take a whole tub, pour it into my food processor, add a bit of Greek yogurt, and a small amount of mayo to make it a bit more luxurious and creamy, but it's optional. A lot of herbs, any kind I have on hand, and garlic salt get added to the mixture too. Once everything is happily married together, I pour it back into the cottage cheese container and keep it in the fridge for a few days before serving. Making the dip in advance ensures that the flavours are all melded together. I also use garlic salt instead of fresh garlic, as I find that freshly squeezed garlic and its juices are too strong and pungent for this delicate dip.
Cottage Cheese Dip
Makes just over 2 cups of dip
Cottage cheese - 1 tub (500 g/2 cups)
Greek yogurt - 1/2 cup
Mayonnaise - 1 tablespoon (optional)
Parsley - 1/4 cup or more
Dill - 1/4 cup or more
Garlic salt - 1/2 teaspoon or more to taste
- Roughly chop herbs, otherwise, unchopped, they'll end up wrapped around food processor blades.
- Add all the ingredients into the food processor and pulse for a few seconds until cottage cheese is smooth and everything is mixed together well.
- Taste and add more garlic salt if needed.
- It's better served the next day.
- Can stay in the fridge for a week or a bit longer.
- To be honest, there's no need to measure herbs. Just add as much as you like. I actually prefer more herbs than I added into this particular version, but that was all I prepared and I didn't feel like getting more out of the fridge.
- Also, add whatever herbs you have. I love this dip with cilantro, but I know a lot of people don't like that herb.
- If you are not sure what to do with the rest of your herbs, don't forget to learn How to Store Herbs. My bunches of dill and parsley and cilantro last for more than 2-3 weeks usually.