• Yield: Makes 1 to 2 cups

  • Time: 10 minutes prep, 10 minutes cooking, 20 minutes total

This wonderful dip keeps 1 week in refrigerator


  • About 2 tablespoons good-tasting extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 large onion, cut in 1/8-inch dice

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • Generous pinch hot red pepper flakes

  • 1 large clove garlic, minced

  • 1/2 teaspoon tomato paste 

  • 1/4 tight-packed cup fresh basil leaves, torn

  • 1/3 cup dry white wine

  • 1 to 1-1/2 cups sour cream (not low fat)

  • Fresh lemon juice to taste

  • Fresh vegetables for dipping (cucumber, sugar snap peas, peppers, cauliflower, radishes, celery, carrots, etc.)


1. Film the bottom of a 10-inch skillet with oil. Set over medium-high heat. Stir in onions, pepper flakes, and season with salt and pepper. Turn heat down to medium-low and sauté five minutes or until the onions are softened.

2. Raise heat to medium-high to high and quickly take the onions to rich, golden-brown. Stir them often and take special care not to burn the brown glaze developing on the bottom of the pan. Stir in garlic, tomato paste and basil. Sauté one minute or until fragrant.

3. Stir in the wine and simmer it down as you scrape up the brown glaze at the bottom of the pan. Once the wine has boiled off, taste the onions for seasoning. Turn them in a bowl, cool them completely and stir in the sour cream (start with 1 cup), then add lemon juice to taste. Sample for salt and pepper. Serve with raw vegetables.

Lynne Rossetto Kasper
Lynne Rossetto Kasper has won numerous awards as host of The Splendid Table, including two James Beard Foundation Awards (1998, 2008) for Best National Radio Show on Food, five Clarion Awards (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2014) from Women in Communication, and a Gracie Allen Award in 2000 for Best Syndicated Talk Show.