In one of my recent media interviews, a journalist asked what was my go-to pandemic snack, and this was the only thing I could think of. I made it pretty early on in the pandemic as a way to have something indulgent but still vegetable-y. It's not based in history really, just straight out of my brain. But it combines the best worlds of BLTs, tomato sandwiches, and creamy chip dips in one.
I call this "BLT" Dip, but it doesn't actually have any lettuce or even bacon in it. And you can put bacon in it if you want to (heck, you could add a sturdy lettuce like chopped romaine, too, if you want), but the smokiness of the smoked Spanish paprika really does a better job, I think, at bringing out the smoky, salty, tastiness of bacon without the extra calories. It makes this dip more friendly for vegetarians, too! And you could replace with mayo and sour cream with all vegan mayo, if you want.
The smokiness and creaminess is what makes this dip extremely tasty with potato chips and kind of addictive. It makes a lovely side to grilled foods, or as a light lunch or dinner for when it's just too hot to cook.
If you garden and find yourself with a glut of cherry or grape tomatoes, this is a great way to enjoy them!
Creamy, Smoky Tomato Dip Recipe
1 pint cherry tomatoes
pinch of salt
1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
1-2 teaspoons smoked Spanish paprika
Cut the cherry tomatoes in half lengthwise and then slice cross wise into chunks or slices. Place in a bowl and add a pinch of salt, stirring to combine. Then thinly slice the scallions, white and green parts, and add to the tomatoes. Add mayonnaise (at least 1 cup), sour cream (just a dollop or two), and the Spanish paprika, and stir thoroughly. Serve with potato chips - we prefer kettle chips.
You could also theoretically pile this on toast and pretend it's an extra-delicious tomato sandwich.
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Sarah Wassberg Johnson has an MA in Public History from the University at Albany and studies early 20th century food history.
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