Monday, February 1, 2010

Recipe: Dip-de-dip-de Dip!

With a special article appearing soon on Mark's Daily Apple (of which I am sworn to secrecy!), I have been tinkering around with dips to go with the certain recipe that Mark has chosen to feature during the Primal Snacks month of his Primal Blueprint Reader-Created Cookbook Challenge... So this evening, I grabbed myself a bunch of different organic veggies as well as some seafood favourites of mine, and started pulverizing! I was expecting a few duds to come out of my experimentation, but without being immodest, they all turned out really well! These recipes are designed for my palate and my access to local vegetables, and I have also eliminated dairy to make each dip as accessible as possible to the primal/paleo community. They're all quick and easy to make, with minimal preparation and clean-up required. All up, I made 8 different dips, in less than 3 hours, one after the other (except where roasting/boiling time overlapped). Enjoy!

Stylist note - I'm a bit bored with taking the same old shots of my food with the same old background, so when the current Australian issue of Harper's Bazaar appeared in the mail today, I decided to get a little playful...)

All recipes make enough dip to fill an average-sized soup bowl, depending on size of veggies.

The Veggie Dips

Chunky Beetroot & Herb Chutney


2 large beetroots
2 minced garlic cloves
1T chopped coriander leaves
1t ground cumin
1t ground cinnamon
1t Hungarian (sweet) paprika
2T lemon juice
Salt & pepper to taste


1. Chop the beets into quarters, and place in a saucepan full of water. Boil rapidly until beets are soft.
2. Remove beets from hot water, and place in cold water until cool. This should allow you to remove the skin with ease, if desired.
3. Place beets and all other ingredients into food processor (or small bowl if using a stick blender) and pulse until beets have broken down and all ingredients are combined. I like to leave mine a little chunky to maintain the home-made feel.

Serve topped with fresh coriander leaves, and my special secret Primal snack... ;)

Nice & Naughty Nightshade Dip

I don't have any issues with nightshades, so I decided to play with eggplant and tomatoes to see what there was in the way of dip potential... For some, there's no dip greater than baba ganoush, so I took that as a challenge... :)


1 large eggplant (for extra oomph, char the skin over medium flame before using)
2 tomatoes
2 cloves garlic
2T olive oil or butter
2t ground cumin
2t ground cinnamon
1T lemon juice

Onto the base formed by the above ingredients, which is quite a nice, subtle dip in and of itself, you can add extra flavour via chopped Granny Smith apples, a splash of balsamic vinegar, ground cardamom, chilli flakes, black olives, capers, etc...


1. Heat oil/melt butter in a frying pan over gentle heat. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant.
2. Chop the eggplant into cubes. Gently add to frying pan and sauté well.
3. Dice tomatoes, preserving the pulp and juices. Add to pan.
4. Remove from heat, and place in food processor. Add all other ingredients.
5. Process to desired smoothness. Check flavour balance and add further seasonings if desired.

Serve topped with black olive slices, curls of apple peel, or fresh herbs (along with my secret recipe, of course!)

Roast Pumpkin Puree

When it comes to pumpkin, my favourite combination of flavours has been captured in my pumpkin soup recipe. So why mess with perfection? For this chunky, 'dippable' version, I've simply omitted the stock! I've also cut down the cooking time by boiling my pumpkin rather than taking the time to roast the whole fruit. Roasting will produce a richer, sweeter flavour, but boiling still preserves that gorgeous roast pumpkin taste.


500g pumpkin (whatever is grown locally)
1/2 large onion, sliced thickly
2T coconut oil
2t cumin
2t nutmeg


1. Chop pumpkin into cubes, and place in a oven-safe pan filled with water. Bring to a violent boil and leave it there for a good ten minutes.
2. While the water is boiling, heat oven to a moderate temperature.
3. Empty water from pan, and add all other ingredients to the pan. Toss to coat onion and pumpkin with oil and spices, and bake until onion has softened.
4. Remove from oven and allow to cool - or jump straight into processing, careful of flying bits of sizzling food. Puree thoroughly (although leaving the odd chunk of roasted onion is really quite nice to crunch into).

Serve with the you-know-what, and maybe a side of sour cream.

Refreshing Zucchini & Coriander Dip

A tasty, light snack that would be great as a palate-cleanser. Roasting the zucchini beforehand would intensify the flavour.


2 large zucchini, chopped into small chunks
2T chopped coriander leaves
1T lemon juice (or more to taste)
2T olive oil

Optional - chopped red chilli, which would certainly change the impact!


1. Heat oil in a saucepan. Add zucchini and sauté until soft.
2. Remove from heat and combine with coriander and lemon juice. Mash or process until smooth.

Serve with a garnish of coriander leaves or flat-leaf parsley (and...).

Creamy Spinach & Basil Pesto

I have a friend who prides himself on his spinach dip. This kicks his spinach dip in the goolies.


250g Spinach, steamed & finely chopped (frozen spinach will also work well)
A generous handful of fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
1 or 2T macadamia nut butter
1 or 2T olive oil or macadamia nut oil
2T lemon juice
Salt & pepper to taste


1. Whip macadamia nut butter, oil and lemon juice until the mixture begins to thicken.
2. Place mixture and greens in food processor and blend well.
3. Chill thoroughly before serving.

This one is perfect with the mystery snacks, and also lends itself very well to being eaten via veggie sticks (capsicum, carrot, broccoli, celery, etc). The beau has now fallen in love with this recipe, citing it as 'better than the pesto dips you get from the store, and this doesn't even have cheese!' Soooo satisfying... (The comment, and the dip!)

Imagine my delight when I arranged my five completed veggie dips - all light and tantalising in their own way - on my patio table to discover the oh-so-complementary colour palette! Perhaps the association with Bazaar has resulted in a surprise discovery of this year's fall line...

Dips From The Deep (i.e. Seafood!)

Anchovy & Olive Paste for Serious Savory Lovers

No, seriously. Small dips people, small dips! And if you're sensitive to salty flavours, make sure you have a glass of water on hand... It's so worth it though!


50g unsalted butter
3 garlic cloves, minced
100g anchovies, finely chopped
1t capers
3T black olives, pitted and chopped
3T olive oil
2T chopped parsley
2T chopped basil


1. Melt butter in a small saucepan over a low flame, and add garlic. Sauté garlic until fragrant and thoroughly combined with butter.
2. Add anchovies, capers, olives and olive oil, lowering the heat to your stove's minimum, and simmer for five minutes or so, stirring frequently. The ingredients should combine and become quite creamy. The smell should be wonderful.
3. Remove from heat and add herbs. Mix thoroughly and process if desired.

Best served with salt-free dippers (of which my secret recipe may be...), such as fresh veggie sticks. A little goes a long way with this one! A layer of butter/oil may separate and sit atop the paste - you can mix it back in or scrape off to enjoy as a milder version of the dip.

Smoked Salmon, Onion & Olive Dip

I stumbled upon the winning combination of smoked salmon and olives by accident the other day when I added my home-brought lox with the sad garden salad served to me during a PD (the only edible part of the provide luncheon, you see...). Wowzers! I just knew I wanted to try these two ingredients in other variations, and processing allowed the flavours to mesh and develop beautifully.

This recipe is my favourite of tonight's creations :D


100g smoked salmon
1/2 brown onion, chopped
1/4 cup black olives, sliced.


1. Put all ingredients in the food processor and pulse until combined but not sloppy (the crunch of onion within the creamy smoked salmon is just divine!)

That's it! Other smoked salmon recipes I've had in the past involved all kinds of dairy, particularly cream cheese, but if you can afford to omit it, the dairy really isn't necessary.

Serve with the little wonder-snacks, and top with fresh parsley or salmon roe!

Prawn Paté


200g peeled, cooked prawns
75g salted butter, softened
2T lemon juice
2T chopped parsley
3T chopped dill


1. Place all ingredients in a food processor, and combine thoroughly.
2. Chill and serve as is (as I did this time around), or you can create a paté by leveling the top of the prawn mixture, melting 20g butter, and pouring it gently over the top. Chill for an hour before serving.

Serve with extra peeled prawns and lemon wedges, plus the - you know...

There's one more recipe I wanted to re-test before putting up for all and sundry to try, which was a spicy crab/avocado mix (yum!!), but the only avocado I could find was not yet ripe... So I hope that the fishy dips will expand to at least four before I'm done...

So for now, I hope you enjoy the Girl Gone Primal Dips, and I can't wait to introduce you to the GGP Dipper... Only a few more sleeps!


My special Sunflower Sesame Crackers were unveiled on Mark's Daily Apple today, so I can finally share with you the tasty primal treats that have been thrilling my guests and completing my summer dinner party offerings for the past couple of months! They are absolutely perfect with all of the above dips, and are suitable for many more purposes as well. The recipe is ridiculously simple and easy to adapt - for instance, I add salt and pepper into the mix itself, then sprinkle with dried rosemary for an aromatic finish! Enjoy!!

Above - the Worker Bee's rendition of my crackers and my prawn paté, as seen on MDA!


Sandy said...

Um, wow. That stuff is seriously gourmet. Makes me wonder what kind of deliciousness you dip in it... :-)

Dr.A said...

Very arty!

Shantel said...

I loved the pictures! That is a great idea. I get bored taking my food pics on the same table as well.
The dips looks delicious!

Lupe said...

Lovely photography, as usual!

The dips look fantástica! Really lovely, and I bet yummy. I will try one or two of these out with my little sons this week. I'm looking for more snack food options for them, especially. Me, I am loving eating meat, but I'm expanding my gustatory vocabulary.

Elizabeth. said...


Anonymous said...

You have done a really good job!!! They look so tasty and really well presented.

Cheryl said...

what's a brown onion?

Rozsa said...

These look brilliant, thanks for sharing!
Can't wait to try the Anchovy & Olive one with crunchy roasted fishies - ( I had mine with some homemade chimichurri sauce this evening, but I think your dip would be better..