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Recipe: Post Christmas Dips

Saturday 03 January 2015
Words Ailis Mara

In a post-Christmas world where every meal has been some variation of turkey and pigs in blankets, I’ve decided to break out of the left-overs wasteland and make some food which is as far away from Christmas dinner as I can manage. Not a roastie in sight.

I’m going to do recipes for a few different dips. The joy of not being presented with a whole meal allows guests to eat as much or as little as they like, with far more chilled dinner vibes. Dips are one of my all time favourite things to eat, I’ve given you guys hummus, tzatziki and pesto, but I urge you to go and experiment into the world of dippyness. I’d serve these three with warmed pitta breads, peppers, cucumbers, crackers, crisps, or anything else in your cupboard you find. Enjoy your first non-christmas meal and dip away!

What you’ll need..

For the Hummus:

  • 200g canned chickpeas.
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed.
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice. (more to taste)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin.
  • 100ml tahini.
  • 4tbs water
  • 2tbsp extra virgin olive oil


For the Tzatziki:

  • 350g Greek yogurt.
  • 4 crushed garlic cloves.
  • 1 large cucumber, diced.
  • 2-3 tbsp lemon juice.
  • Extra virgin olive oil.
  • ½ tsp paprika.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
  • A handful of fresh mint leaves. (Optional)


For the Pesto:

  • 50g pine nuts.
  • 50g parmesan cheese.
  • 3tbsp olive oil.
  • 3 good handfuls of fresh basil, chopped till fine.
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
  • A small squeeze of lemon juice. (Optional)

What you’ll need to do..

For the hummus:

– Drain and rinse the chickpeas. (I’ve used a food processer for this hummus, but you can easily do the same without by bashing the chickpeas down to in a pestle and mortar or putting them in a sandwich bag and bashing them down with a rolling pin).


– Combine the chickpeas, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, tahini, olive oil and water in a food processor.

– Add salt and pepper to taste. You can add more lemon/garlic/cumin depending on how you like your hummus. The constancy is completely up to you too, add more olive oil/water if you prefer a creamier dip, or reduce how much you put in the first place.

– For serving, put in a bowl and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and scatter a few whole chickpeas on top. You can also top with paprika, cumin, pesto, parmesan, anything tasty you fancy. Go wild on your hummus toppings!


For the Tzatziki:

– A few tzatziki recipes will tell you to hang your cucumber in a cloth or tea towl to squeeze out all the excess liquid.. I’ve found that if you just de-seed the cucumber and give it a quick squeeze in kitchen roll then it gets rid of enough liquid and you’re still left with a creamy dip.

– Combine the yogurt, cucumber, lemon juice and garlic in a bowl.

– Add a glug of extra virgin olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.

– When I made this recipe for the photos, I found that all the mint in my garden had sadly died over Christmas.. So I finished the Tzatziki without chopped fresh mint. It was still really tasty, but I would always add mint.

– Empty into a bowl, grind fresh pepper and drizzle with olive oil and enjoy! If you can then cover with cling film and let the flavours develop in the fridge.. however if you’re like me and tend to not have enough time to pre prepare for meals, just serve it straight up.

For the Pesto:

– You can either use a food processor or a pestle and mortar for this recipe. I prefer the pestle and mortar, there’s a certain sense of achievement in pounding your food together with your bare hands.

– Bash up the garlic in the pestle and mortar/food processor with salt and pepper.

– Add the basil leaves and pine nuts and continue pounding to a paste-like constancy.

– Stir in the extra virgin olive oil and parmesan and keep beating the ingredients until as smooth as you like your pesto. You can also add water if you prefer yours a little runnier.

– Season with salt and pepper to taste. If you prefer your pesto chunkier, add some more pine nuts at the end for texture. Or if you want a zestier flavor then squeeze some lemon juice in. Pesto is one of my favourite things in the whole world… I would serve in a bowl on the table and dip anything in it like the hummus and tzatziki, or add to pasta/rice/cous cous/literally everything.