burnt toast

Tag: dip

Beetroot Dip


beetroot dip

Just when you thought there were no more dips, I come along and prove you wrong. Bam! I know, it’s a bit like Christmas. My pleasure. Truth be told, I don’t know why I’ve been withholding this baby from you. Too busy eating it I’d assume. Whatevs.

Do you like beetroot? I do. It’s particularly good in salady things, its earthy sweetness usually offset with the sour saltiness of some crumbled feta. Such a winning combo. Here in dip form, we oomp the awesomeness with some garlic, a little ground cumin and a dollop or two of greet yoghurt. You can use both canned or oven-roasted beets, only the canned variety will turn a more winey red and be more tangy, due to the pickling vinegar, while the latter will give you a zingy pink. You choose darling. I won’t judge you either way.


Beetroot Dip


1 medium beetroot

100g feta, plus a little bit more for decorating

1-2 Tbsp Greek yoghurt

1 small garlic clove

½ tsp ground cumin

½ vegetable stock granules

a sprinkling of chilli flakes

small dash soy sauce (umami that shit up)

a squeeze of lemon juice


Preheat your oven to 200°C. Line a tray with baking paper, get your beetroot, stab it all round – being incredibly careful as you do so okay? – wrap in tinfoil, then plonk it onto the baking tray and bake 45 min – 1 hour. Check with a knife to see if its done – it should slide in easily. Remove from the oven and cool. Once cool enough to handle, unwrap the foil and remove the skin. Roughly chop the flesh and transfer to a blender.

If you have a cat, at this stage he will be pestering you like crazy because he is assuming that the big lump of maroon you’re handling absolutely must be a sheep’s heart. Either ignore him, or to further confuse him, give him a sniff of the beetroot. He will be thoroughly unimpressed, but will decide to keep on meowing anyway. Cause that’s how he rolls.

Add ¾ of the 100g of feta, the yoghurt, cumin, vegetable stock granules, chilli and soy sauce. Give it a nice whiz, then have a little taste? Not tangy enough? Add a small squeeze of lemon juice. Crumble in the remaining 1/4 of the feta, give it a stir, then transfer to a bowl. Sprinkle over the extra feta over the top and you’re in business.

If you were to do this with tinned beetroot, a small can should do it, or an amount equivalent to what we used above. Omit the lemon juice because it will be tangy enough.


Sun-dried Tomato and Cream Cheese Dip

sun-dried tomato and cream cheese dip

This one will be short and sweet. Salty, tangy, and creamy too. Yes, another dip. But I know you believe me when I tell you that I only give you awesome dip recipes. If I had to describe how dear this one is to me, I would say it would be like a favourite grandchild. You know, the one grandmas brag about with their 17 photo albums, the one who’s a successful med student with a beautiful blue-eyed girlfriend, and they reeeally just won’t shut up about them? That’s mine. Only I would hold myself back a little bit. Because it’s not your fault your grandchild isn’t as awesome as mine. But. Because I’m such a generous person, today I will let you in on my grandkid, my baby, so that you too can go brag about it. Share the love I say.

Sun-dried Tomato and Cream Cheese Dip

12 sun-dried tomato halves, roughly chopped

125g cream cheese, softened

125g sour cream

1 garlic clove, roughly chopped

1 tsp balsamic vinegar

¾ tsp vegetable stock granules

1 splash soy sauce

freshly ground black pepper

optional: a splash of milk

more chopped sundried tomatoes and basil, for garnish

Another dead easy one. Combine all ingredients, except for the garnish, in a jug, and give them a thorough whirl with your hand held blender. Add a splash of milk if it’s too thick for your liking. Voilà. Transfer to a pretty bowl and top with the extra sundried tomato and the basil.

I love this as a sandwich topping, or as part of a antipasti table, with some juicy kalamata olives, some steamed asparagus and some fresh focaccia.

Carrots, Cashews and Goodbyes

I’ve never been a big fan of goodbyes. I’ve had my fair share of them, and no boubt there will be more to come. Change is good, even if it’s hard to come to terms with that fact at the beginning. My last “change” was three years ago, from Switzerland to Australia, from (little) capital city to tiny country town. And as much as I may have complained about the scarce public transport and the sleepy, laid back life style here, I have grown to love Mullumbimby. I have met the most interesting and beautiful people here and made incredibly good friends. I will miss working with my best friend at the local coffee shop/takeaway deli. I will miss knowing every coffee shop customer’s coffee order. I will miss making sandwiches, and I will miss hating making fresh juices. I will miss jogging the same old track to the cemetery every day. I will miss apéro time down the road. I will miss all the hugs, all the laughs and all the smiles shared. I will miss being here, in this sleepy little place, where people drive like lunatics, where nobody will give you a second glance if you walk to town in your pijamas, where pseudo hippies ask for spinach in their banana smoothie.

However I know my time here is up. I am ready for new adventures, for a change of scenery. Melbourne, you beautiful city, here I come.

But first, off to Switzerland. A month of freezing toes and old friends. Life’s good. Life’s great.

So in the meantime, I would like you to consider this little dip here. Yes, I recall telling you I have a thing for dips. Dips are awesome. They turn every end-of-day cup of wine into a little celebration. And in my opinion there’s never enough to celebrate. This one’s especially spectacular. The vibrant orange with speckles of green, the creamy, velvety texture offset by crunchy little morcels of cashew. The sweetness of the carrots complemented by the saltiness of the nuts and the zing of the lemon. If there’s something that could turn carrots into superstars, this would be it.

Carrot, Cashew and Coriander Dip


2 large carrots, peeled and roughly chopped

100g roasted cashews, plus 50g extra, roughly chopped

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp ground cumin

¼ tsp cinnamon

½ garlic clove, roughly chopped

½ lemon

½ tsp salt

dash of soy sauce

2 pinches chilli

2 Tbsp olive oil

2 Tbsp coriander, leaves finely chopped

Place carrot in a small saucepan and add a few tablespoons of water. Cover and let simmer until the carrot is cooked. Scoop it out and transfer into a jug. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend them with a hand held blender. Stir in the extra chopped cashews. You might have to adjust the seasoning later. Now, top with more nuts, maybe a slice of lemon, some paprika or maybe a few leaves of coriander. Let’s be hippies together, one last time.

By the way this goes really well with dukkah – crusted focaccia, jus’ sayin’.

Dip that thing.

I love tapas. Mezze. Antipasti. Amuse-bouches. Nibbly finger food. The variety, the mix and match nature of it all. Calling this my favourite dip would be like favouring a child, so instead what I will say is this: This is my favourite dip of the sour cream and caramelised onion category. And I love it with all my heart.

Caramelised Onion Dip

2 medium onions, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed

2 Tbsp soy sauce

1 Tbsp honey

250g sour cream

1 Tbsp mayo (because mayo makes everything taste good. In a secret, subtle sort of way)

1 1/2 tsp dijon mustard

chopped parsley

Combine the onions, a splash of water and a glug of oil in a small frypan and cook on a low heat with the lid on until onion has softened. Remove lid and continue cooking, on a higher flame now, until liquid has evaporated and onions are beginning to go light brown. Add the soy and the honey and stir until dark and sticky and caramelised. Cool slightly.

Combine the onion with the sour cream, mayo, and mustard. Adjust the seasoning, then transfer to a bowl and top with the chopped parsley to make it look pretty.

%d bloggers like this: