If a picnic or backyard party is your Mother's Day choice, Annie Bell's Dip Recipes are a good place to start.
Let’s go: dips
We love damning convenience foods, but where would most of us be without those plastic tubs of hummus, guacamole and the like. A lot of it isn’t bad at all, but that small homemade touch injects an essential element of nurture. In pretty much every case there are invariably one or two finishes that will bring out the best in the dip. Or, you could go further, as it takes little longer to whizz up a creamy dip using soured cream or Greek yogurt. Rustle up some crudités and olives and you are well on your way to a respectable feast of a picnic.
Stir 1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin into a 300g tub of hummus. Transfer this to a portable container
or bowl, drizzle over a little extra virgin olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice and dust with a little
For 4–6 people
Stir 2 teaspoons of finely chopped coriander leaves into a 200g tub of guacamole. Transfer this to a
portable container or bowl, drizzle over a little extra virgin olive oil, dust with cayenne pepper and
scatter over a little more coriander.
For 4 people
Stir 1/2 teaspoon of finely grated lemon zest and a tablespoon of finely chopped parsley into a 200g
tub of taramasalata. Transfer to a portable container or bowl, drizzle over a little extra virgin olive oil
and a squeeze of lemon juice and scatter over some more parsley.
For 4 people
Stir 1 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil and 2 teaspoons of finely chopped mint into a 200g tub of
tzatziki. Transfer to a portable container or a bowl, drizzle over some more oil and scatter over a few
tiny mint leaves.
For 4 people
The short cut to making an aioli uses soured cream instead of mayonnaise. It makes for an elegant dip,
as well as a sauce that can be slathered over food from the grill or cold roast beef
(see page 115).
Blend 300g soured cream, 2 peeled and crushed garlic cloves, 1/2 tablespoon of lemon juice and a
little sea salt in a bowl and spoon into a clean bowl or container. Chill until required. Before you leave
the house, dust the top with Piment d’Espelette or cayenne pepper.For 8–10 people
Creamed Goat’s Cheese
This creamy dip can be tinkered with endlessly, using different ingredients and flavourings depending on
what you want to serve it with, but roasted vegetables are always a good starting point, as is a bowl of
feisty green leaves with a walnut dressing.
Whizz 250g fresh young goat’s cheese with 100g Greek yogurt or fromage blanc and 100g crème
fraîche in a food-processor until creamy. It will probably be slightly grainy, but that’s fine. Transfer
to a bowl and stir in 2 tablespoons of finely snipped chives. Chill until required. Before you leave for the
picnic, dust with paprika.
For 6 people
(* Recipe excerpted from 'The Picnic Cookbook' by Annie Bell-Kyle Book, US Edition, June 2013, all rights reserved, photography by Jonathan Bell)