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To Make Your Dips Look Attractive, Swizzle and Drizzle

A no-fail food stylist’s trick to making your dips look delicious. 
By Published Apr. 25, 2022

Dips are always the hardest part of putting together a beautiful display for your guests. You’ve got your crudités all set up and everything is looking great. All that’s left is to set out the dip. So, you scoop it into a bowl, place it on your board, and . . . meh. It’s looking more like a misshapen lump than the photo-worthy swoosh you imagined. How do the food stylists do it?

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Luckily, Elle Simone Scott has got the answer. She dishes on this and more in her new book Boards: Stylish Spreads for Casual Gatherings.

Whether you’re making your own Anchovy Dip or decanting store-bought hummus into a bowl just before your guests arrive (we won’t tell!), here are three steps to making your dips look delicious. 

“Here’s the inside scoop on making your board beautiful, no matter what’s on it.”
Elle Simone Scott

Step 1: Swizzle with a Spoon.

Use the back of a spoon to press into the dip (or hummus) in a swirling, back-and-forth motion with varying degrees of pressure. This adds textural interest by creating peaks and valleys in an otherwise smooth dip. 

Step 2: Drizzle with EVOO.

Now that you’ve created wells and spirals, fill them with a drizzle of olive oil to add dimension. And olive oil does more than just make your dip glisten: it also adds a smooth richness. 

Step 3: Sprinkle something on top.

This is the fun part. Dress up your dip however you like. Sprinkle your Whipped Feta Dip with chopped herbs or cracked black pepper. Or, for more texture (and flavor) reserve some of the leftover dip ingredients as toppings. In our Artichoke Lemon Hummus, we garnished with extra chopped artichokes and parsley.