Miserable, just miserable isn’t it? The choice the last few weeks has been either grey, dripping weather or grey, lashing weather. And often chilly, I mean it’s June for goodness sake and I’m pulling on a fleece every day. Rubbish.
Still, let’s not let the weather ruin our summer. Let’s PRETEND it’s business as usual which to be honest is still lots of rain only with the occasional burst of sunshine added. Let’s just make those summer food plans and maybe we’ll embarrass the weather into behaving.
First on the list of summer foods are often dips’n'dives. Y’know the dishes I mean, things you eat while you wait for the ‘main’ star of the table to cook. And yes, all those dippy dives are astoundingly cheap to buy at the supermarket but have you ever stopped to read the ingredients? A bit of a shocker, all the preservatives, gum and salts with modified this and colouring that. Honestly, homemade dips are not only better for you they taste better. And they’re easy to make. Here’s a easy peasy creamy dip I made that went down a treat (particularly with the menfolk!) recently at my Tai Chi class (after class we all sit down and have green tea and some food).
Creamy Cheese & Onion Dip
Served 20 as part of a buffet.
250g cream cheese (I chose an organic version)
200 g natural (unsweetened) yoghurt
100 g Greek style natural yoghurt
50 g parmesan
1 onion, half diced finely, half finely sliced
1 generous heaped tablespoon chopped chives
chive flowers (optional)
squeeze of lemon
salt & pepper
Couldn’t be simpler. Cook the onion in a little olive oil over a low/medium heat. You want the onion to slowly caramelise and this can take 20 mins or so but just keep an eye on it, stirring regularly so not to allow the onion to burn or it will taste bitter. When a sweet golden brown, remove from heat and drain off excess oil. Allow to cool slightly.
Beat the cream cheese with the yoghurts (I had Greek yoghurt in the fridge anyway, if you don’t want to buy 2 yoghurts then just use the thinner unsweetened natural version).
Grate the parmesan into the creamy mix. Add the cooled onions (reserving some for a garnish), the chopped chives and mix. Add a squeeze of lemon and mix well. Season. If the dip seems too thick slacken with more yoghurt or a splash of milk.
Top the dip with a sprinkle of cooked onion, more chopped chives and chive flowers broken into florets.
You see, hardly a recipe, more an assembly of good ingredients most of which you’d find in your fridge anyway.
Very delicious served with wedges of pear and apple by the way, very!