Monday, August 27

Recipe: Big Bite of Fresh Basil Herb Dip or Salad Dressing

Farmgirl Susan's Big Bite of Fresh Basil Dressing & Dip -
This simple, healthy dip is packed with fresh basil, parsley, chives, and garlic.

This has been a pretty challenging year in my kitchen garden, but despite the heat, drought, Japanese beetles, blister beetles, flea beetles, cabbage worms, the brazen herd of deer that isn't afraid of dogs, and probably some other things I've already blocked out of my mind, I've still managed to harvest a fair amount of bounty.

The tomatoes and sweet peppers are finally ripening, and before that there were three kinds of kale, several varieties of Swiss chard, three types of bush beans, four kinds of onions, along with garlic, potatoes, and fresh herbs galore, including Greek oregano, basil, parsley, chives, lemon thyme and English thyme, rosemary, and lemon balm.

Sometimes there's more than we can eat in the garden, but of course that doesn't stop me from buying extra bounty from other gardeners. The first day our Amish friends opened up their little front porch farm stand, I loaded up with bags of green beans, new red potatoes, Japanese cucumbers, several big zucchini, and 13 ears of just picked sweet corn.

My kitchen is usually overflowing—in a good way.

Recipe below. . .

At one point this season there were 160 cured garlic plants sitting in a basket on the floor and three pounds of freshly picked green beans on the counter. I filled up one of our three big stainless steel kitchen sinks with Red Russian kale, and at various times the refrigerator has been stuffed with arugula, lettuce, more green beans, and Swiss chard.

And then there's the giant cooler I use as back up refrigerator space for much of the year. It lives next to the chest freezers that are filled with homegrown lamb and beef. This morning I found five giant zucchini in there I don't even remember buying.

Having a batch of this flavorful, herb-packed dip on hand in the fridge makes it easy to bypass the sweets and grab a healthy snack of fresh summer veggies instead (although it's also great with potato chips). Or thin it out with a little milk or buttermilk to make a flavorful salad dressing. You could even put it in a pita with some greens and chopped vegetables.

Big Bite of Fresh Basil Dressing and Dip
Makes about 2 cups
As always, I urge you to seek out local and organic ingredients; they really do make a difference. If you let the dip chill for at least a few hours before serving (or overnight) it'll taste even better. You can make this using all sour cream or all yogurt if desired. Greek yogurt will give you a thicker dip.

Ready to grow your own basil? You'll find all my basil growing posts here (plus the best way to store fresh basil).

3/4 cup organic sour cream (regular or low fat)
1/2 cup organic yogurt (regular or low fat)
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
1 teaspoon granulated onion (or onion powder)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup packed chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup packed chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup minced fresh chives (or scallions), plus more for garnish
Milk or buttermilk for thinning

In a small bowl, combine the sour cream, yogurt, mayonnaise, lemon juice, garlic, granulated onion, salt, and pepper and mix well. Stir in the basil, parsley, and chives.

Chill for at least two hours (or overnight) to allow the flavors to develop. Garnish with minced chives and serve with fresh raw vegetables, pretzels, or chips. For salad dressing, stir in enough milk or buttermilk until desired consistency.

Still hungry? You'll find links to all my sweet and savory Less Fuss, More Flavor recipes in the Farmgirl Fare Recipe Index.

©, the cool running foodie farm blog where there can never be too much fresh basil—or dip.


  1. I've made your Homemade Lowfat Buttermilk Ranch Dressing (which was fantastic!), so I can't wait to try this Big Bite of Basil Dressing and Dip. Looks and sounds very good! Thanks for sharing.

  2. YUM!! I love the idea of using fresh green beans as dippers! :)

  3. You make me crave summer on a very freezing almost spring morning, which reminds me - it's time to get the seeds sorted out! Hope all is well, I missed my tail-end of the week (no pressure...)

  4. Hey Kiddo! This summer I did store some basil on the counter in a little glass of water and it did sprout! Shocked me (although I had probably read your older post about a pal of yours doing just that :)) and seemed a great idea to pot it up! Susan, I do have one of those terrific fridges with French doors, and it is sublime! I ADORE IT!!! Feel very spoiled every time I open the doors and survey the bounty. Thank you Dad! Love the sound of your gorgeous basil dip. Reminds me much of your delicious Buttermilk Ranch Dip! LOVE IT TOO!!!

  5. Hey Susan- I recently made your Buttermilk Ranch Dip and it is delish! I'll be making this one too, mostly because basil is one of my very favorite things and one of the only things I'm growing fresh--on my balcony no less! BTW, love your blog, been with you for a very long time! Hope you're feeling better. God bless you and yours! :)

  6. I do not think that I will be able to eat this dip with anything other than potato chips.

    Thankfully I have almost everything I need to make it on hand EXCEPT for the potato chips, so these green beans and carrots stand a chance at going for a dunk in that fabulous looking dip. :)

  7. I'm not sure of your location in Missouri, but I wish you guys a nice steady, healthy amount of rain from Issac!! You are in my prayers.

  8. I'll second Tina's comment about the rain.

    Here's hoping for fertile and healthy fall pastures.



December 2015 update: Hi! For some reason I can't figure out, Blogger hasn't been letting me leave comments on my own blog (!) for the last several months, so I've been unable to respond to your comments and questions. My apologies for any inconvenience! You're always welcome to email me: farmgirlfare AT gmail DOT com.

Hi! Thanks for visiting Farmgirl Fare and taking the time to write. While I'm not always able to reply to every comment, I receive and enjoy reading them all.

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