Trio of Dips

Serves 8

We have been serving these in the restaurant for over five years now and they are still as popular as ever. They’re great for a party or a lazy lunch; serve with warm flat bread cut into strips.

Roasted Pepper and Chilli Hummus

2 x 400g tins of chick peas
2 cloves of garlic
half a red pepper, roasted, peeled and deseeded
half a yellow pepper, roasted, peeled and deseeded
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp water
1 tbsp olive oil
1 ½ tbsp tahini
1 tsp salt
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tbsp coriander leaves, finely chopped
1 tsp ground cumin

Place all the ingredients, except the coriander, in a blender – or use a hand blender in a bowl. Stir the coriander through the dip at the end.

Beetroot and Mint Dip

300g raw beetroot
1 clove of garlic
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1½ tbsp tahini
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp chopped fresh mint leaves
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. Sprinkle the beetroot with salt, wrap them in foil and put in a roasting tray. Bake them for 1–1½ hours, or until tender. Allow them to cool, peel off the skin and then blend the beetroot with the garlic, oil and tahini. Purée in a blender until the mixture is mooth.

Transfer it to a bowl, stir in the vinegar and sprinkle with chopped mint. Season with salt and pepper.

Butternut Tahini Dip

500g butternut squash
salt and pepper
3 tbsp olive oil
½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 clove of garlic
1 tbsp tahini
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp pine nuts, toasted

Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. Cut the butternut squash in half and place it in a roasting tray, cut side up. Season it with salt and pepper, drizzle it with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil
and cover with foil. Roast it for 30 minutes, or until soft. Take it out of the oven and allow it to cool down a little.

Scoop the flesh out of the skin of the butternut squash and put it in a food processor or blender with the cinnamon, garlic, tahini, lemon juice and the remaining olive oil. Blend until smooth and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with the toasted pine nuts before serving.