Lisa’s Capsicum Dip

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Our friend Lisa served this dip at a large gathering over quartered avocados and we loved it so much that we asked for some pointers and set about recreating it. We used a recipe for Baba Ghanoush from Claudia Roden and substituted the aubergines with capsicums, added cashew nuts and feta and toned lemon juice and garlic down to complement the capsicums’ sweeter tones. This dip is wonderful on bread, carrot or celery sticks (or indeed avocados!). Accompanied by some tabouleh, it makes a wonderful light summer lunch.

 

Ingredients:

  • 7 red capsicums
  • 1 and ½ cups of roasted cashew nuts
  • 100gr feta cheese
  • Juice of 1 lemon (or more to taste)
  • 1 crushed garlic cloves (or more to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons of tahina paste (or more to taste) – I use the unhulled one, which is darker and has a deeper flavour
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

 

Execution:

  • Cut the stalks and seeds out of the capsicums, place upside down in a baking dish and roast in a 180’ C oven until soft and a bit blackened (approximately 1 hour)
  • Put the capsicums in a salad bowl and cover with a plastic bag. Leave steaming for at least ten minutes and then uncover and peel. Steaming the capsicums makes peeling them much easier
  • Put the cashew nuts in a food processor and grind them to crumb size
  • Add the capsicums, feta, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper, two spoonfuls of tahina and a generous splash of olive oil and process into a paste
  • Add more tahina, lemon juice and salt to reach the level of zestiness that suits your palate
  • For best consistency, cook one day in advance and store in the fridge; that gives the nuts enough time to soak up the juices, which firms the dip up.
  • Enjoy.

Maurizio Viani

www.ThePocketRoad.com

 

 

 

 

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Sera’s Thumbprints

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Our friend Sera gave us some of these lovely biscuits for Christmas a few years ago and we immediately asked her to hand over the recipe, which she did graciously. These thumbprints are so easy and gorgeous that we have been baking them regularly ever since. If you don’t have coconut oil, you can use a different vegetable oil (like corn or sunflower) but with coconut the bikkies turn out extra-delicious and the house smells like heaven while they are in the oven.

Ingredients (make 26 chunky biscuits):

• 2 cups almonds
• 2 cups rolled oats
• 2 cups flour
• 2 teaspoons cinnamon
• 1 pinch of salt
• 1 cup coconut oil
• 1 cup maple syrup
• Jam

Execution:

In the blender, buzz the almonds and then the oats into a meal. Add the other dry ingredients and pulse. Add the wet ingredients and buzz some more until everything is incorporated.

Scoop up spoonfuls of dough and shape them into balls. Flatten onto a tray lined with baking paper. Make an indent with your thumb and put a little jam in the dent.

Bake in a medium (~170’ C.) oven for 20 – 25 minutes. Do not over bake or the biscuits will go hard.

Enjoy!

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