A Couple of Great Appetizer Dips

Mushroom-Onion Toasts and Smoky Caramelized Onion Dip are simple vegetarian dips that are perfect starters for a Father’s Day barbecue.

Mushroom-Onion Toasts features a rich mushroom spread on seasoned toasts. As an option consider adding some grated parmesan cheese just before serving. Smoky Caramelized Onion Dip is a great appetizer dip that features the combined flavors of smoky caramelized onions, fresh thyme and a hint of sherry vinegar. Once you master this dip you will never again buy grocery store onion dip.


Mushroom-Onion Toasts
(Mark Kelly, 2016)

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing toasts
French bread, sliced on a bias
1/2 large yellow onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 lb. baby bella mushrooms, sliced 1/4-inch thick
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp paprika
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 Tbsp chopped curly parsley
1 tsp dried thyme leaves

Preheat oven to 375F.

On a foil-lined, rimmed baking sheet place the bread slices. Brush both sides of each lightly with oil. Bake for 8 minutes. Turn the slices over and bake for another 8 minutes or until firm and crisp. Immediately after removing the toasts from the oven season with salt and paprika. Place the toast on a rack to cool.

In a large cast-iron skillet heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until golden, about 2 minutes. Remove the onions and garlic from the skillet. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and add the mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms are well browned, about 8 minutes. Stir in wine and cook until it is evaporated, 1 minute. Stir in the parsley and thyme. Allow to cool to room temperature.

Place mushroom mixture and half of the onion-garlic mixture in a food processor and pulse until almost smooth. Scrape out to a bowl and stir in the remainder of the onion and garlic. Garnish with parsley sprigs. Serve by spreading over toasts.

Smoky Caramelized Onion Dip
(Mark Kelly, 2016)

Makes 1 1/2 cups

3 large sweet onions, quartered, skin left on
4 large shallots, halved, skin left on
6 sprigs fresh thyme, divided
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 Tbsp sherry vinegar
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat broiler. Set top rack 3 to 4 inches below the heating element. On a foil-lined, rimmed baking sheet place the onion quarters and shallot halves and brush all sides with oil. Place 4 thyme sprigs on the baking sheet with the onions. Broil until the skins are charred and the onions begin to soften, about 8 minutes.

Change oven setting to bake at 300F. Bake the onions and shallots for another 45 minutes until they are soft and caramelized. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

Once the onions and shallots have cooled completely, remove the skins and coarsely chop about 1/2 cup of the flesh and reserve any remaining for another use. In a food processor, combine the chopped onion and shallots, Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, leaves of the remaining 2 thyme sprigs, and sherry vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Pulse until smooth. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours to allow the flavors to meld.

Serve with your favorite salty cracker, chip or pretzel.

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