A chef often receives questions about food recipes, on the shelf life of products or how to prepare certain vegetables. The greatest revolutionary in food within the last 20 years is probably Ferran Adria, whose mantra is " create, don't imitate ". He offers advice on how to accomplish this and suggests to first be aware of all the possible textures of, for instance, a hummus or a dip. Adria proposes to try anything from converting them into soup with a little stock to creating a salad dressing with a bit of good vinegar or acids like lime, lemon or yogurt plus a drop of olive oil, sesame oil, nut oil, depending on the style of salad.
Generally a dip profits from the right temperature. Just like bread should always be toasted or served warm at least ( pastry as well ) , if a salad is being served, the components should be having ambient temperature to unfold their full flavor potential. Note to some restaurants here: Never ever serve a tomato straight out of the refrigerator.
As for the question which greens and vegetables go well with which dip, here are some guidelines: There are universal vegetables like cucumber, ( roasted ) onion and tomato, beets or blanched potato which fit in nearly every dish.
Serve what the country has to offer: In tropical countries this could be avocado, ( blanched ) jicama or chayote with a lime dressing, in Northern countries if you prep a salad and add raspberries, nuts and arugula you won't go wrong.
If you enjoy your dip as is, try warming it to body temperature, add some vegetables ( you could microwave a single portion with a spoon of water and a pinch of salt in 2 minutes ), toasted chips ( they keep warm under a kitchen towel ) and you will see the difference.
As for the shelf life of foods, evolution has equipped us with an almost perfect detector, our nose. If you smell a food and it smells unpleasantly sour, moldy or fermented, it is probably a goner. Visual clues include a slimy film, bubbles and discoloring.