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The Abudraham in his explination of the haggada says that the question is that the rest of the year we do not eat vegetables before the main meal. In other words, the "dipping" here means eating. Perhaps a more straight forward answer is that the dipping that Rashi refers to is bread in food. Here we are dipping a vegetable in something.
Refer to the Mishnah in Pesachim 115a. According to one reading, it states that "On all other nights we are not REQUIRED to dip even once". This was the original text of that question, since, indeed, dipping was common during the time of the Gemarah. Years later (I don't know when), when dipping was not common, the text of this question changed.
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