A true American classic, synonymous with potato chips and Sunday afternoon football games. French onion dip, also known as “California Dip” or “Lipton California Dip” is a well-known, extremely basic dip made primarily with sour cream and minced onions (what’s not to love). Typically served with chips (the less fancy, the better), this is all about big flavor and easy dipping. Health food it is not, but it’s delicious and I honestly don’t know anyone who can pass up this old American favorite.
Created by an unknown French cook in Los Angeles in 1954, the recipe was publicized in the local newspaper and spread like wildfire. The Lipton company quickly stepped in and began promoting it on television, where it became even more popular. By 1958, Lipton had added the recipe to its instant soup package. The rest, as they say, is history.
I was talking to a good friend from college about our love of this simple classic dip. She said that she knows a place in San Francisco where you can buy a gourmet version to it and often does when friends come over. It got me thinking about making my own homemade version. I developed this easy and delicious recipe as an upscale alternative to the one we all know so well. For those getting ready for the Super Bowl, you may want to make this and dazzle your guests with an absolutely irresistible caramelized onion version of French onion dip. The calories are well worth it in my mind.
French Onion Dip
- 2 small yellow onions, grated
- 1 garlic clove, grated
- 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin olive oil
- 1 sprig fresh thyme
- 1 cup sour cream
- 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 3/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 1/2 tablespoons dried minced onion
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- dash black pepper
- fresh chives, minced, for garnish
- Step 1 Place a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Add the olive oil, when hot, but not smoking, add the grated onion, garlic and thyme sprig and sauté, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft and a nice golden brown color, about 20-25 minutes. Discard the thyme and let cool.
- Step 2 In a small bowl add the sour cream, mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, dried onion, salt and pepper. Mix well to incorporate.
- Step 3 Roughly chop the caramelized onions and add to the sour cream mixture. Mix well to incorporate. Refrigerate for about 20 minutes.
- Step 4 To serve, garnish with chopped chives, some additional dried onion if desired and serve with your favorite salty potato chip.