>> Sunday, 6 June 2010

The promise of summer has got me thinking about dips.

I love a table laden with crudites, breadsticks, pitta breads and meats. It makes me really happy to have everyone gathering round a table loading plates up with food and chatting. Friends, family, food and happiness - it's what this food blog epitomises for me.

Anyway, such occasions always require dips! Whether creamy or tangy or cheesy, a dip is a essential component of the buffet table spread. Supermarket offerings can be a little depressing....it's either one hundred varieties of hummus or the obligatory four varieties that has been the same for the last ten years...you know the one....

Now, I don't really have an issue with this in it's own right and I'm sure lots of people like it. But once, in a time long ago and a land far away (well, Lincolnshire...), I worked in a food factory in the 'Dips & Deli' division. Having inhaled these products for six weeks day-after-day, I have little desire to consume them now.

I also think after you have made so much effort with other dishes, it's a shame to bring out these when it's easy to make your own. My three favourite dips are Peperonata (a red pepper and tomato salsa like dip), Artichoke and Cumin and Smoky Aubergine. I'll post all these over the next few weeks, but first I'll start with Aubergine (yum, yum!) which comes into season next month.

This Smoky Aubergine dip is very creamy and silky, but I love the kick that the chilli powder adds....

Serves 4
2 aubergines
100ml natural yoghurt
Juice 1/2 lemon
1 garlic clove
1/4 teaspoon chilli powder (or 1 green chilli)
1 tsp ground coriander
olive oil
  • Place the aubergines in a very hot oven for 20 mins until they start to collapse
  • Halve the aubergines, remove the flesh and place in a bowl to cool (throw away the skin)
  • Add the cooled aubergine, yoghurt, lemon juice, garlic, chilli, coriander and a glug of oil to a food processor and blend until smooth
  • Season to taste and serve

So easy!! You'll also need some Dip-Sticks to enjoy your homemade efforts. Often I chop grilled pittas into fingers for perfect dipping, however on this occasion I made use of toasted ciabatta, interesting crackers and crispbreads...

These companies do a great range of crackers if you fancy something different (generally available from supermarkets/delis)...

Hope you like.....new Dip recipes will be posted soon!

Helen x

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