Yogurt dips where you don’t really need a recipe are the best kind of yogurt dips. And yeah, they taste good.
Dipping things in other things is fun. Schmearing things on other things is fun. Splattering and drizzling and dripping things on other things is fun too. This means that yogurt is fun. Yes, plain Greek yogurt. And even better? Making plain Greek yogurt not-so-plain is easy. Super easy.
You only need a few ingredients to make your own signature Greek yogurt dip, sauce, condiment, or dressing. It’s all about buying good Greek yogurt—full-fat is non-negotiable here—and then finding a flavor combination you like, whether you’re looking for something fresh, roast-y, or spicy. Oh, and making sure to season it with plenty of salt, but you already knew that. Here are three yogurt moves I make when breakfast, lunch, or dinner needs a a big hit of creaminess and flavor:
The “What Herb Do You Dig? Dill? Sounds Good!” Move
I offend a lot of people when I call this dill yogurt tzatziki-esque. “No, it’s not tzatziki.” “No, you’re wrong. There’s no cucumber.” “No, you don’t know anything about Greek food, you idiot.” So now, in an effort to ease yogurt-instigated tension, I just call this dip or condiment “dill yogurt.” Because really, that’s what it is.
All you need to do is hit Greek yogurt with a generous amount of the chopped herb of your choice—in this case, dill—freshly ground black pepper, grated garlic, a squeeze of lemon juice, flaky sea salt, and a glug of olive oil. Using a Microplane to grate the raw garlic helps it spread throughout the dip evenly, and using flaky salt gives you intense pockets of seasoning. Once you’ve mixed the first six ingredients together, finish it with a pour of olive oil, so all the yogurt valleys get filed with liquid gold. It looks nice too. And yes, that’s important.
The “Roast the Hell Out of Those Scallions, My Dude!” Move
Roasting or grilling some alliums is good old-fashioned fun. It’s one of my most treasured pastimes, especially because I can just sit around and drink a beer while it’s happening. I love getting some intense color going on scallions and garlic, because it turns yogurt into a deeply flavorful experience.
Toss peeled garlic cloves and scallions with salt and olive oil and roast them at 425°, flipping them when the top side takes on a dark brown color (or char, if you’re really feeling aggressive). Once they’re tender and darkened, throw them in a food processor, or chop them with a sharp knife, until the garlic and shallots become paste-like. Now, you know what to do. Mix that stuff into your yogurt, seasoning with salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Dip, spread, and swoosh your damn heart out.
The “Whoa, This Is a Little Spicy and Tasty as Hell!” Move
I like fish sauce. I like chile paste. And I also like yogurt. That’s the story of how this bastard yogurt dip/spread/condiment was born. It’s thrilling, I know. But the end result is, truly, fantastic. And it requires zero cooking. Or chopping. Just a few pours, a couple squeezes, and a quick grating session.
Mix some sambal oelek (more, if you like spice—less, if you’re a mild human being), lime juice, salt, black pepper, and a few dashes of fish sauce into your yogurt. Peel and grate some fresh ginger over the yogurt and stir until you have a beautiful, fragrant, pink-ish concoction to behold. Then submit that stuff for a Nobel Prize in the dip category. And the peace category. And the physics category. Submit it to every category, just to be safe.
The Post-Construction Move(s)
So now you have your evolved yogurt. The options are limitless. You can use it as a dip for crudites or chips or crackers. You could spread it on toast, and top it with tomatoes and sea salt, or maybe, use it as a stand-in for mayo in tuna or chicken salad, or use it as a dip or topping for simple grilled chicken thighs, fish, or lamb. But my favorite thing to do, especially with the dill and sambal versions, is to use it as a dressing or bed for crispy roasted vegetables. Once they come out of the oven, swoosh the yogurt all over the plate you’re serving them on, and throw the vegetables on top. Or toss the vegetables in the yogurt sauce, like a dressing.
The tang and creaminess of Greek yogurt makes things better instantly, with minimal effort. It’s here to support your flavor addiction and your laziness simultaneously. Yogurt is way more fun than you think it is, especially when it’s not just yogurt.
THIS JUST IN: You can dip roasted potatoes in yogurt.