I’m not an overachiever in the kitchen at any time of year, but in the summer when appetite is down and laziness up, I just want to assemble a good meal rather than cook it. The season’s fresh produce makes it easy to have a picnic at home – great cheese, juicy ripe fruit, well-dressed greens, and a lush, creamy greek yogurt spread, scooped up with fresh-cut vegetables or salty chips.
I wouldn’t recommend most dips as a basis for a meal, but this isn’t your regular tub of fat. It’s simply a flavored greek yogurt, just dolled up savory instead of sweet. Thick like tzatziki but mellow enough to eat in big dollops, if you use a quality greek yogurt (or make your own), it’ll give you a probiotic boost to boot.
The last couple of summers we’ve lived on this dip from Costco, and we’ve wailed in withdrawal when it has disappeared sporadically from the store’s shelves. Apparently the Canadian manufacturer, Skotidakis, distributes the dip only through Costco in the U.S., so when Costco doesn’t carry it, there’s no other source to be found.
It’s comforting for addicts like me to have a homemade version as backup plan. And it seems only fair to make this creamy goodness available to those outside Costco’s reach.
My version here isn’t perfect – Skotidakis uses a greek yogurt base made with both cow and goat’s milk, which adds a complexity I can’t replicate with standard cow’s milk greek yogurt. But outside a side-by-side comparison, it’s close.
Despite the name, this dip only has a mild tingle, and at home you can adjust the heat to your liking. It’s all about choosing jalapeños: younger ones (green and smooth) tend to be mild, while older peppers get hotter as they age (green with white striations, mixed green/red, and finally red/ripe). I use a mild green jalapeño here: it’s easier to adjust the heat of the dip, and the green jalapeño does double duty for bell pepper flavor as well as spice.
It takes a surprisingly small amount of veg to flavor the yogurt: just a bit of tomato, onion, garlic and jalapeño. If your jalapeño is potent and you are only using a small amount, you could also toss a bit of diced bell pepper to the mix.
It’s hard to puree small amounts. Scrape down the sides and repeat until you don’t have any chunks left (especially jalapeño, and especially especially if your jalapeño is hot). I’m making a half-recipe here (not my first rodeo), and this is still a bit chunkier than ideal.
Carefully pour out excess liquid. Liquid will ruin the consistency of your dip.
Add the drained vegetable puree to the greek yogurt and mix with a spoon.
Paprika adds more color than taste. You could also add some smoked paprika if you want to get creative, but not if you’re trying to quell a craving for the original.
Not quite as orange as Skotidakis’s. But another benefit of making the dip instead of buying at Costco is that you don’t have to store 32 ounces of it.
With this dip around, assembling an appetizer or snacky meal is easy breezy. (And can we bring back the lost art of cutting carrot sticks? Baby carrots are slimy and weird.)
I’m not usually an advocate of chips for dinner, but if you’re eating them with greek yogurt dip and veggies, then heck yeah: have a cocktail, turn on some tunes, and relax into your summer night.
Jalapeño Greek Yogurt Dip
A hot name for a cool, creamy dip that you don’t have to feel guilty about eating by the tub (it’s yogurt!). This dip has been regularly but inconsistently on the shelves at Costco, but it’s comforting for addicts like me to have a homemade backup plan.
- 1 small tomato (about 2 ounce/55 grams), or 5-8 grape tomatoes (depending on size)
- 1 jalapeño pepper (green smooth peppers are generally mildest), or less of a hotter, more mature pepper (see note below)
- 3 tablespoons diced onion
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt (1/2 teaspoon table salt)
- 1 1/2 cups plain greek yogurt (thicker is better; fat content is your choice)
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- Dice tomato (halve grape tomatoes) and put in a small food processor or blender.
- Cut jalapeño pepper like cutting around an apple core, avoiding the seedy center and pith. Roughly cut the pieces, removing stray seeds and pith, and add to food processor.
- Add onion and garlic. Puree until the vegetables are finely minced, with no chunks.
- Drain out excess liquid from the puree (use a fine-sieve colander, or simply pour out liquid carefully, using a spoon to hold back solids).
- In a bowl, add pureed vegetables, salt and paprika to the greek yogurt. Adjust salt to taste, and add more finely minced jalapeño if you like more heat.
- Serve with cut vegetables and pita wedges or chips.
Makes 2 cups dip.
- Tips for choosing jalapeños: young ones (green and smooth) tend to be mild; peppers get hotter as they age (green with white striations, green turning red, and fully red/ripe).
- I prefer using a mild green jalapeño: it’s easier to adjust the heat of the dip, and it adds some bell pepper flavor in addition to spice. If your jalapeño is potent and you are only using a small amount, you could also add a tablespoon of diced bell pepper to the mix. Take extra care with hot jalapeños to ensure the puree is very fine.
- Variation: try adding some smoked paprika in addition to regular paprika.
- Canadian dairy producer Skotidakis (originally a feta maker) uses both cow and goat milk in its thick greek yogurt base, and I couldn’t replicate the precise taste of the original dip using cow’s milk yogurt. But with a good thick greek yogurt, like FAGE, it comes close.
Here’s the link to a printable version.