Middle Eastern Dips with Pita Chips

(Thanks to Katrina for the photo!)

This is a lovely starter to make for guests.  Not only can everything apart from the chips be prepared a day in advance (in fact, the flavours improve after a night in the fridge), it’s also pretty healthy and is a nice social start to dinner with friends.

Last time I made this I followed it with lamb tagine with couscous and salad for a main and a pistachio cake with yoghurt for dessert.  It was really rather good, if I do say so myself!

Middle Eastern Dips with Pita Chips

(serves 4 generously)

Pita Chips

6 pita bread

Olive oil

Babaganoush

2 aubergines

Olive oil

2 garlic cloves

2 tblspn tahini

1 small lemon

Salt and pepper

  • Heat an oven to 220 oC.  Prick the aubergine all over (do NOT forget this part unless you want to be scraping exploded aubergine off you oven for hours) and place on a baking tray.  Cook in the oven for 45 mins until all squidgy inside.
  • Let aubergine cool slightly then scrap the fleshy insides into a bowl.  Add the garlic, tahini and the juice of half a lemon.  Mash together thoroughly then season.  Add extra lemon juice and seasoning to taste.
  • Pour a little extra virgin olive oil over the dip before serving.

Muhammara

4 red peppers

1/2 cup walnuts

1/2 cup breadcrumbs

1/2 tspn chilli powder

1/4 tspn cumin

1 garlic clove, crushed

Squeeze of lemon juice

1 tspn pomegranate molassess (or honey, if it’s easier)

Salt and pepper

Olive oil

  • Roast the pepper and remove their skins.  I use this method.
  • Pop everything except the olive oil and seasoning in a blender.  Blend until combined.  Season carefully.  Turn the blender back on then add oil a little at a time until the mixture becomes a uniform texture

Hummus

Does the world need another hummus recipe?  Possibly… I use this one though (GREAT series of food articles).

Olives

Get the nice ones.

13 thoughts on “Middle Eastern Dips with Pita Chips

  1. A great starter. Silvena Rowe is one of my favourite cook book writers at the moment and she does one with beetroot and yogurt. So simple and so yummy. Everyone loves these dips. So moreish.

  2. Been stalking this blog for ages, I love it, so finally popping head up. Heres a wave from up north……… So ‘nice olives’ – I love anything unstoned, and particularly kalamata. Are they good or can you suggest anything else? I love talking about food but struggle to blog about it – my pictures tend to be more random than my recipes. I must try harder!

  3. Fay – Can’t pretend to be an olive expert but… I always have a jar of Tesco’s pitted black olives in my fridge. They’re great for cooking with and putting in bread but a bit crap for eating just for the sake of eating an olive. So, just like you suggest, for this starter I like Kalamatas or something stoned or the marinated ones from deli counters.

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