It was time for another tasty meeting of Northfields Cook Book Club last week, and the theme this time was picnic food. It was a Pimms fuelled evening with much swapping of recipes (and hilarious stories).
Everyone also agreed that for everyday picnics most people, including myself, usually hit the shops and grab a basketful of fodder and then hit the park. However, sometimes there’ll be a special picnic occasion like a birthday or gathering of old friends that demands something you’ve made a bit of effort with.
I chose to make a couple of dips, as I had a mountain of cream cheese in my fridge leftover from a cooking assignment; along with various other bits and bobs. I wanted to show how much more flavour you can pack into a home made dip just using ingredients you’ve got knocking about, rather than the rather lack lustre supermarket jobs.
I bent everyone’s ear about my new favourite gadget, the Vitamix, and the super smooth texture of the dips that were made in it spoke volumes.
Both flavours went down really well, especially with the Turkish flat breads that our wonderful hostess Nikki had got in from a local West Ealing bakery. So here’s the very simple recipes for these summery dips that are perfect for a picnic!
Feta, mint and pea dip
2 handfuls frozen peas
150g cream cheese
handful mint, chopped
squeeze of lemon juice
1. Cook the peas for a few minutes in a pan of boiling water, drain and allow to cool.
2. Place all the ingredients in a blender and blitz until smooth, taste, season and briefly blitz again.
Sunkiss tomato, parmesan and basil dip
100g sunkiss tomatoes and oil (sundried/sunblush etc)
150g cream cheese
2-4 tbsp parmesan, grated (to taste)
handful basil, chopped
1. Blitz the ingredients with a blender, and then taste and adjust the parmesan levels accordingly.
Thanks to Vitamix for providing me with a blender, for which I am providing recipes to demonstrate its performance