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Spinach and water chestnut dip

27 Sep

spinach and water chestnut dip

Spinach and water chestnut dip was all the rage in the 1970s, and I adored it.

An unlikely cast of ingredients – spinach, water chestnuts, powdered soup mix and mayonnaise – come together in the most silky, savoury, crunchy way imaginable.

As I remember, it was usually served in a hollowed out bread loaf, surrounded by chunks of bread for dipping. Continue reading

Asparagus with wasabi mayonnaise

21 Jul

asparagus with wasabi mayonnaise
Asparagus with wasabi mayonnaise is a really nice, simple summer appetiser.

It contains so few ingredients – and is so straightforward to make – that it’s more of an idea than an actual recipe. Continue reading

Beet hummus

14 Sep

beetroot hummus

Hummus is a staple food in our house – I whizz up a batch nearly every week. While we never get bored of hummus, adding a roasted beet to the mix now and then makes a change.

I prefer to cook beets by wrapping them individually in tin foil and roasting in a hot oven until tender. Boiled or grated raw beet work fine too. Continue reading

Mexican layered dip

10 Aug

Mexican layered dip

Needing to bring something to our annual street party last weekend, I decided to make Mexican layered dip. While I’ve always adored this dip,  I did wonder how it would be received in London.

There is something slightly 1970s “hostess-with-the-mostest” about it. And despite having Mexican in its name, it seems unlikely to have originated south of the Rio Grande.

That said, when it is made with good quality ingredients, it is very tasty thing indeed – and it went down a storm. Continue reading

Salata de vinete (aubergine salad)

28 Jun

Salata de vinete

Salata de vinete is a traditional Romanian dip or spread that is served with pitta or crackers. I did some research online – even watching a video of Nadia Comenici preparing salata de vinete – before asking my Romanian friend Dan for tips. Continue reading

Guacamole

3 Jun

Chips and guacamole

Guacamole is one of those things it should be impossible to get wrong. Mash and season a ripe avocado, serve with tortilla chips – the shortest recipe ever.

And yet, there is so much lousy guacamole out there, it seems worth writing a few words on the subject. Continue reading

Beet borani (borani chogondar)

20 Apr

yogurt with beets

Borani are Persian dips or side dishes of thick yogurt combined with vegetables and herbs. I’ve come across aubergine, spinach, and courgette before, but beet borani was a new one.

Beets are so often paired with sharp flavours like vinegar or lemon, which masks their flavour, but that’s not happening here. Just the mild tang of the yogurt, and woodsy dried mint to play against the earthiness of the beets.

Beet borani is most startlingly gorgeous fuschia colour – the girls adored it on sight. Having made it with both raw and cooked beetroot, I’m surprised at how little difference cooking makes to the taste or texture of the finished dish. Continue reading