One of the best ways we know of making simple meals easy each night is to make big batches of roasted vegetables, cooked grains, and prepped greens one day of the week for the rest of our meals. And the way to make each week interesting is to make a different dip each week.
(Those are the kinds of recipes we offer on Feeding Our People, our recipe subscription community. Each week we send you a new batch recipe for something useful, right now, along with one of my essays. And there’s a community of cooks who like to talk with each other, as well.)
This one? Well, we made it because we had leftover roasted peppers from another recipe. I love smoked paprika so much, plus it amplified the roasted pepper taste. And we had all the other ingredients in the kitchen. So, even though I love this dip, I hope you use it as a template for making a good dip with what you have in the refrigerator already.
We have given you the instructions for how to roast your own red pepper. But if you have some roasted red peppers in the cupboard already, use those.
When we call for mayonnaise, we’re going to let you decide what to use. Vegan? Use your favorite vegan mayonnaise. You want to make your own mayonnaise with olive oil or avocado oil? Great. Tell you the truth, we used Best Food Mayonnaise, because got a deal on it at Costco. Also, every chef we know loves Best Foods (Hellman’s on the East Coast) mayonnaise. They use it in their restaurants because it’s consistent and emulsifies better than homemade mayonnaise ever does. So use the mayonnaise that best fits your budget.
Heat the oven to 425°. Cover the red pepper in half the olive oil. Put the pepper in the oven. Roast the pepper until it is blackened outside, like the one in the photograph above, about 35 minutes. Take the pepper out of the oven and put it in a paper bag. Close it up tight. When the pepper has cooled completely, scrape the blackened peels off the pepper. (If they are being stubborn, use a wet paper towel to scrape off the peel.) Cut the pepper in half and drain the water that will be inside. Scrape out the seeds. Dice up the pepper.
Put a skillet on medium-high heat. Add the remaining olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the garlic. Cook the garlic, stirring frequently, until the kitchen smells of garlic, about 2 or 3 minutes. Take the skillet off the heat.
Plop the mayonnaise, smoked paprika, lemon juice, roasted red pepper, and cooked garlic in the blender. Blend it all up until smooth. Taste the dip. Add more lemon juice, salt, or smoked paprika, according to your taste.
This dip should last in the refrigerator for about 1 week.