Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Some dips that have kept us going this summer during our outdoor wanderings, beach outtings, at home...anywhere and everywhere!
Hommous has been a staple around our house for years however making beetroot dip and carrot dip was new to me this summer and quickly joined my mental list of favourite snack foods. My recipes are a touch spontaneous depending on the day and mood and reflect a variety of inspiration from family suggestions and our cookbooks but,  play with the ingredients and quantities and you're sure to come up with a combination that works for you. The method is much the same for all the following dips; blend /puree all ingredients and devour with your favourite accompaniment (we like rice cakes and crackers, flat bread, carrots).

Chickpeas (caned or home-cooked), tahini, olive oil, ground tumeric, fresh basil, ground coriander/cilantro, fesh or dry dill, garlic, dried celery seed, salt and pepper to taste and lemon juice
Hommous in a rush? Chickpeas, ground cumin, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper to taste.

I generally start with one can of chickpeas and around 4 tablespoons of tahini and add the herbs, spices and seasonings incrementally from there, tasting as I go til the dip tastes right for that day. You can save some of the juice from the can to use in the mixture, as needed (until you reach your preferred consistency).

Beetroot dip
Beetroots (boiled or baked), lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, ground cumin, fresh coriander, salt and pepper to taste. I use the same principle as above...start with beets and oil oil and add herbs etc until it tastes yummy.

Carrot dip
Carrots (baked or boiled), olive oil, wine vinegar, garlic, paprika, chilli powder, ground cumin, caraway seeds. Again, start with mixing the main ingredients (carrot and oil) and add the remainder bit by bit until it 'hits the spot'!

"mmm, a tree stump, what's the loudest, busiest, most active game I can play with that?

It seemed a shame to leave my insatiable desire for all things basil unfulfilled, particularly given that we have an abundance of it this summer, so this past Sunday I made pesto.

Pinenuts, olive oil, BASIL (!), garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Blend/puree as you please (I made a few jars of extra chunky pesto). I left the parmesan out because we ran out but it's sure to be added pre-eating. It's no problem to freeze the pesto with or without paremesan - in my world at least, though I'm sure some olive oil aficionados would disagree. Guess what we had for dinner on Sunday night? Yep, pasta with pesto...and our last sprinkling of parmesan.

The beginnings of the 'pesto pantry' as we termed it...well, it's actually a 'pesto freezer' but that doesn't sound nearly as appealing!

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