I know it is not “officially” summer yet, but don’t try to sell that to any child or any adult who have been waiting all year for their summer vacation. Here in Louisiana, it has felt like summer for a while now thanks to the good old humidity and heat index. I am one of those, however, that would rather have the hot weather than cold. (I certainly may need to remind myself of that come August!) Summer is the perfect time for me. I love the water, can’t get enough of it, whether I’m in it, around it, or just looking at it and I love being outdoors. I wish I could eat every meal outside.
That’s what else I love about summer? The food–I love the grilling, the barbecues, the salads, the watermelon. Even when I know I’m not eating healthy in the summer, it always “feels” that way like my Antipasto Artichoke Salad. Foods just seem to be lighter in the summer. This Zesty Lemon Boiled Shrimp Dip fits perfectly in that category. It satisfies my craving for a hot dip without all the heavy cream cheese or sour cream. It is very light and refreshing. Today I’m lucky to have a few leftover boiled shrimp from making my Shrimp Boil Burger. That’s another great thing about this dip-it doesn’t require many ingredients.
This dip is also quick to throw together, and usually can be made with ingredients I have on hand. No, I don’t always have leftover boiled shrimp, but guess what works just as deliciously easy? Tuna. Hubby loves tuna, so we always have a pouch in the pantry for emergencies…like if I have to work late and he needs a quick dinner. This dip is also refreshing served over rice as a meal.
Put on Your TO COOK IS TO CREATE Thinking Cap: No leftover boiled shrimp or tuna? Use a can of salmon or leftover cooked fish. I use a mixture of black and green olives with pimentos, but use your favorite or use jarred olive salad or even a Giardiniera mix. No feta cheese? No problem? Use Parmesan or mozzarella cheese. No white wine? Use sherry. What else could you add? Celery? Green onions? Bell Peppers? Want to stretch this dip and make it a little heavier? Mix in cooked rice. I also have put rice in bottom of an au gratin dish, topped with dip and lots of cheese, and broiled it for a cheesier dip. I’m not an anchovy or sardine lover, but a friend of mine uses this recipe for them. If you still have some olives you need to use up, try another one of my summer favorites, you know “Olive” Red Bean Relish.
FOOD FUN: During the year, I volunteer at different times in gleaning programs, gathering perfectly good produce after a harvest, and donate it to local food banks or pantries. Did you know a lemon tree can produce up to 600 POUNDS of lemons every year? That certainly is a lot of lemons to make lemonade. If you know someone with a lemon tree, volunteer to share their bounty with others, so none go to waste.