The New York Times recently published a piece by food guru Tanya Sichynsky entitled Dips for Dinner.
When I think of dips, I picture a lovely appetizer tray, not a dinner entrée. But Sichynsky wrote that sometimes “I don’t want to cook. I want dips for dinner! Shallow bowls of whipped ricotta, tubs of creamy hummus . . . and chunky guacamole. With an assortment of colorful vegetables, fluffy breads and crunchy crackers, any dip can became a vibrant meal.”
Hmm. . . I’ll have to think about that.
Dip into the Delicious
I recently had some mighty fine dips at Rozanna in Lafayette Center in Ballwin. The complimentary pita came with three dips: black bean, beet, and eggplant. I could’ve made lunch on those, but it was just a tasting preview of dips yet to come.
Mediterranean Home-Style Favorites
I ordered what looked like a large chicken pot pie with mushrooms, potatoes, and chicken tucked beneath a golden, brown crust. Robin had the skewered version of my “pot pie,” (as shown above), so the tastes were much the same; only the presentation differed.
It’s worth noting the unique location of Rozanna. The restaurant sits at one end of the shopping center, not far from Dierbergs. There’s seating for 40 on the partially-covered patio, that’s whimsically decorated with lighting and artsy palm trees.
When it began to rain slightly, a server was quick to hoist a large umbrella over our table.
Leaving the park lot, we drove around the backside of the strip shopping center. I spotted a sign along the driveway that said “DIP.”
I had to stop for a laugh—and a photo. It seemed so appropriate after reading the NYT ‘s article and savoring a variety of dips from Rozanna’s menu.
Dipping into History
Dips have survived since ancient times. The first was likely tzatziki. Today’s version is much like the original—yogurt cucumbers, garlic, salt, and olive oil. The dip works with meats, citrus fruits, breads, and chips.
We can thank the Aztecs for guacamole, a 15-century dip made with avocados and olive oil.
The creamy sauces became popular in the US when Lipton encouraged people to combine dehydrated onion soup with cream cheese or sour cream and serve with potato chips.
Today the leading dips are guacamole, salsa, and spinach-artichoke. Dips even made a Seinfeld debut, when George was caught “double dipping” at a buffet.
We observe Chip and Dip Day on March 23. You might want to mark you calendar and give the NYT Dip Dinner a try.
Rozanna Mediterranean. 403 Lafayette Center Dr., Manchester, MO in Ballwin. Hours: Sun 11a-8p; Mon and Tue 11a-9p; Closed Tuesday; Thu-Sun 11a-10p. Curbside pickup.