Tag Archives: dips

The salad-soup continuum

I don’t really believe in recipes and am incapable of following them (except when baking and sometimes not even then). Recipes are suggestions, in my view, best read for their theoretical contribution and not to be taken literally. Nobody should measure parsley; that’s ridiculous.

One of my primary theoretical, and also practical, interests is salad. Anything can be in a salad. French salads were a real eye-opener for me; you can literally pile anything on a plate and bam, it’s a salad. Nachos are a salad. Etc.

So when we contemplate the category of a dip, we are really looking at a thickened salad dressing. Consider the salsa. It is a salad…it is also a dip. Tweaked slightly, it is also a soup. And what to say about pesto? Salads, dips, and soups are homotopy-equivalent: each space can be continuously deformed into the next, usually with the help of a blender.

For example, by changing the proportion of solid and liquid ingredients and chopping or blending as needed, the following can be a salad, a dip, a vinaigrette (very close to the classic one you get on salads at Japanese restaurants), or a soup (with added water or broth):

  • roast carrots
  • roast garlic
  • fresh ginger
  • spring onions
  • jalapeño peppers
  • tamari (or soy sauce)
  • lime juice
  • fresh cilantro (“coriander leaves”)

I like this best as a dip, but it clearly occupies the entire salad-soup continuum. A lot of combinations are like this. Think about it.

Then eat it.