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.