Monday, September 27, 2010


When consuming alcohol one should always have something in hand to nibble on. Preferably a morsel of deliciousness should be on offer comprising of something that's light enough to allow room for large amounts of liquid, yet still satisfying to curb any future hunger pangs that may lead to late night kebab consumption. And now with the warmer weather upon us, and plenty of celebrations to come, we can always do with some new ideas to hopefully eradicate all mini quiches from serving platters this silly season.

So I share with you two dishes which are perfect served with an icy cold beverage, a sunny disposition and a big night ahead.

I first had this dip years and years ago at some various family Christmas gathering, and was quite overwhelmed by its deliciousness. I randomly remembered how tasty it was the other day and found any opportunity I could to make it. The creamy bean dip is infused with the warm flavour of rosemary, and the little nuggets of juicy prawns provide a nice bit of texture and flavour. It's perfect smothered on toasted slices of baguette that have been rubbed with garlic.
The pumpkin is roasted until sweet and golden, then doused with thick yoghurt, fresh coriander and crunchy toasted pine nuts. An easy to make crowd pleaser. As Mr. Dilmah says, "Do try it."


Prawn and Cannellini Bean Dip
from Karen Martini's 'Cooking at Home'

2 x 400g cans cannellini beans, drained
3 sprigs rosemary, leaves chopped finely
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 lemon - juice and zest
5 large green prawns, shelled, de-veined and chopped into chunks
250ml stock or water
100ml extra virgin olive oil
Handful of flat leaf parsley
Salt and pepper
1 baguette stick, thinly sliced, toasted and rubbed with a cut clove of garlic

Heat the 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a pan over medium heat and add the garlic and salt and pepper. Add the garlic and saute for a few minutes. Add the prawns and allow to colour slightly. Add the beans, rosemary and stock and simmer until soft. Remove from heat and transfer into a bowl.
Using a fork, mash the beans until a paste is a chunky dip is formed. Add in the juice of 1 lemon, the rest of the olive oil, parsley and lemon zest and combine. Spread dip thickly on the baguette slices and finish with a drizzle of olive oil.


Roasted pumpkin with yoghurt and pine nuts
adapted from Karen Martini's 'Cooking at Home'

1/2 a pumpkin (jap or butternut)
1 cup plain yoghurt (preferably the thick greek kind)
1/2 lemon, juiced
4 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
A big handful of coriander, leaves roughly torn
Salt and pepper

Slice the pumpkin into sizeable pieces. Rub with olive oil and salt and pepper and bake in a preheated 200°C oven until golden and soft (about 30 mins). Arrange the pumpkin on a platter, drizzle with yoghurt, lemon juice, pine nuts and coriander and serve at room temperature.

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