Powdered mixes have nothing on this real onion dip. A mix of caramelized and raw onions make for a dip that’s richly flavored with a nice, punchy finish. Thick and creamy sour cream lemon zest, and fresh herbs seal the deal.
Dip is kind of tied up in ideas of the past. First, you have an entire type of plate dedicated to it, and then there’s a notion that dip is something that comes in a foil packet. Chip’n’dips are fun to talk about, but I serve chips and dip in a bowl. As for the foil packet–throw it away. Real dip comes from sour cream, onions, vegetables, and herbs.
This is an easy recipe for a classic onion dip that is surprisingly sophisticated, and really delicious. Rich flavor and creamy sour cream, with real onions make for a dip that is classic, festive, and easy. Just right for a New Year’s celebration or watching a football game with friends. It is a slight variation on an onion dip recipe I posted last year. I guess I love onion dip during the holidays.
I like to mix a blend of caramelized onions, slow cooked for almost an hour, and finely diced raw onions. The two types of onion preparation lend more depth to the onion flavor. I also add a bit of lemon zest, diced for flavor, and thin strips for garnish. Use preserved lemon if you have it. The other ingredients are salt, pepper, sherry or madeira, herbs (in this case a bit of rosemary, sage and parsley), and a squeeze or two of lemon juice.
Because sour cream is the base for your dip, you want a high quality, full fat variety. I almost always opt for local or organic dairy products, but in this case I go with Axlerod brand sour cream. It is super thick and has a mild, creamy flavor. It’s totally my favorite sour cream–thank you C-town.
Finally, a note about the timing. I like to prepare the cooked onions well ahead of time, then cool completely, and drain off any liquids from the cooking process. If you need to speed things up, simply saute the onions until they are translucent, drain if needed, and put in the refrigerator for a while. I tend to prepare my ingredients and then combine everything 6 or so hours before serving. This gives things time to meld, but not turn watery. If you are hurrying, the dip could be put together and served right away; it will still be great.
Powdered mixes have nothing on this real onion dip. A mix of caramelized and raw onions make for a dip that’s richly flavored with a nice, punchy finish. Thick and creamy sour cream lemon zest, and fresh herbs seal the deal. Recipe adapted from How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman.
- 1 pint full fat Axlerod brand sour cream
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 - 2 medium red onions
- 1 teaspoon , plus several thin strips, of lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon sherry
- Sea salt to taste
- A good amount of pepper
- 2 tablespoons herbs–diced for the dip plus some whole leaves for garnish
Dice one of the onions. Heat a small frying pan with the butter over medium heat. When butter is foamy and fragrant, add onions. Allow them to sizzle for 30 seconds, add the sherry, and then turn heat to the lowest setting. Stir occasionally and cook for 45 minutes. At first it will seem like nothing is happening, but the onions will slowly develop a caramel-y rich flavor. When they are done, set aside to cool. Before you add them to the dip, drain any excess cooking juices.
Meanwhile, take most of the other onion and dice it finely. Prepare the zest and herbs. Once the cooked onions are cool, combine half the diced onion, and everything else but the lemon juice, and then add the onion and lemon juice as necessary to achieve your desired onion flavor and dip consistency. You can also add more lemon juice just prior to serving. Check salt levels and set aside, covered, in the refrigerator for 3 - 6 hours. Check flavors just before serving, then add garnishes. Serve with high quality or homemade potato chips and carrot sticks.