Jan 18, 2012

Chunky almond dip

Commercial chunky style dips using nuts are popular in Australia. Often however they are laden with oil and flavourings so I decided to try and make my own version for an impromptu drinks at The Shady Pine one afternoon.

As this recipe resembles a pesto, it can just as easily be used in a pasta or added as a crust topping on fish or chicken before baking. I served a small bowl of this dip as part of a cheese platter with plenty of mixed crackers and vegetable sticks.

For a Thai inspired dip, the basil, almonds and lemon can be replaced with corriander, cashews and lime with a tiny splash of fish sauce.

I used almonds which I already had in the pantry but there are so many varieties of nuts which would work equally well. Why not mix it up and try raw cashews or peanuts or a combination of both.

Because nothing gets wasted in our house, I used leftover dip which was more than I needed to fill the the small dip serving bowl by adding it to a bowl of pasta with lean bacon and sauted mushrooms. It was delicious and the nutty taste and consistency was perfect against the smooth silkiness of the pasta.

Chunky almond dip
¾ cup blanched almonds
½ bunch fresh basil leaves
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
1 small birds eye chilli, chopped
Juice of 1 lemon
S&P to taste

1. In a non stick pan over medium heat, add the almonds and stir until toasted and golden brown.
2. Combine the toasted almonds and all other ingredients in a food processor. Process to your desired consistency. I like mine to be well combined but still chunky and not so fine that it becomes a paste. If you prefer a runnier dip, add more olive oil or even a small amount of water.


Christie @ Fig and Cherry said...

Yum, I love chunky dips too! I have a little mini chopper that I use to whip up things like this quickly (easier than cleaning the food processor!). Love the little chilli kick in this.

The Shady Pine said...

Oooh I need to get one of those mini choppers. I have to admit that cleaning the food processor for such a small amount seems too onerous :)

sophia said...

You just got me hooked into pasta again. I thought I was done with that stage! But just looking at those pasta coated with the beautiful almond dip....oh man I'm salivating. Cool idea though-- using almond dip as "pesto"!

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Those nut dips are so moreish aren't they! I could easily eat a whole tub and go back for more. Then I saw the amount of fat and cals in one tub and stopped so thank you for your low fat version :)

Kimberley said...

This is awesome. The Thai version is awesome too - I can't wait to try it!

leaf (the indolent cook) said...

I much prefer to make my own dips, too. This sounds very flavoursome!

yummy supper said...

Anna, such an interesting idea for a dip. I love the basil/almond/chili combo - sounds delicious!

cityhippyfarmgirl said...

Home made dips are so much better than the regular bought ones, and anything with some chunky almonds in there...yes please. Now where's my drink?