The minute the weather turns even remotely warm everyone’s thoughts turn to BBQs and dining al fresco… Make sure you keep your guests and family happy while the barbecue is heating up by serving up these two super-easy essential summer dips.
Summertime and the living is… practically unbearable! We are in the midst of an honest-to-gooddess heatwave in London town and I am literally melting. I know everyone looks forward to proper sunshine, blue skies and lounging in the park until they are lobster red… but I am not in that camp. I love hot weather… as long as I am on a beach on an island and on holiday.
When it comes to hot weather in the city, I am all for slightly cooler temperatures and a nice cloud or two. I have been unable to sleep and unable to cook since turning on the stove or oven feels like torture right now. What’s more, my kitchen is flooded with intense sunlight which is just no good for food photography.
I know these views might make me rather unpopular but I can’t help it. The one good thing about the weather is that everyday barbecues are the order of the day – our BBQ has been working overtime. And what’s a barbecue without some delicious summer dips to keep everyone busy while the food is cooking!
The spicy pepper dip is my favourite – loosely based on a Greek recipe called tyrokafteri which translates as ‘hot (spicy) cheese’. All you need is some marinated roasted peppers which you can easily buy in the supermarket these days. Or you could roast your own, but who wants to be doing that when it is super hot outside?
The zesty avocado dip is not unlike guacamole, but it is milder and can be used as a dip or added to any number of Mexican dishes. As for the baked tortilla chips… OMG they are so addictive! I usually maked them with slightly stale tortillas so that they don’t go to waste.
These recipes are very easily doubled (or tripled) and I would advise you make more than you think you will need as they are so moreish they are guaranteed to disappear in record time!
- Baked Tortilla chips
- 8 large corn tortillas
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- sea salt
- sweet paprika
- Zesty avocado dip
- Flesh of one large ripe avocado
- 150 g | 5 1/2 oz sour cream
- juice of 1 lime
- handful of fresh coriander
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 dashes Tabasco
- olive oil to drizzle
- freshly ground black pepper
- Spicy pepper dip
- 150 g | 5 1/2oz store-bought roasted peppers in olive oil
- 100 g | 3 1/2 oz feta cheese cubed
- 4-5 tbsp Greek yoghurt more if needed
- 1/2 tsp sweet paprika
- 1/2 tsp salt
- pinch dried chilli flakes or dash Tabasco
- 1-2 tsp chopped chives and paprika to garnish
- Make the tortila chips. Preheat the oven to 180C (160 Fan). Brush the tortillas with a little olive oil on both sides.
- Pile them in a stack then slice into wedges. Spread on a large tray in a single layer (you may need to do this in batches). Sprinkle with salt and paprika.
- Bake for 6 minutes then flip over. Bake for another 5 minutes or until the tortillas start browning at the edges. Leave the tortillas to cool down until they are crisp. Serve with your dips.
- <b>For the avocado drip:</b> put all the ingredients apart from the olive oil in a food processor and blitz until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
- Season with freshly ground black pepper and drizzle with a little olive oil before serving.
- <b>For the spicy pepper dip: </b>put all the ingredients apart from the chives in a food processor and blitz until smooth.
- Add a bit more yoghurt if the dip is too thick.Taste and adjust the seasoning.
- Serve with a sprinkling of paprika and fresh chopped chives.