Everyone who knows me knows that I have a strong aversion to gloopy gunk. I’ve mentioned it once or twice. But that doesn’t mean that all dips are bad. Only those with mayonnaise in.
When and why did mayonnaise become totally ubiquitous? As far as I’ve seen, there’s only one coffee shop chain which doesn’t put it in every single sandwich and panini, and even then, you have to choose wisely. I’ve nothing against a bit of pesto in a sandwich, but whatever happened to plain old butter? Ah, the reassuring clarity of ordering a ham sandwich in France: Make mine a ‘jambon beurre’ any day!
Anyway, here are the three recipes for the dips/accompaniments I mentioned yesterday, but please pop them in little bowls rather than dolloping all over the lamb burgers. Remember, one man’s ambrosia is another man’s nemesis.
2 tins chopped tomatoes
Half an onion
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon sugar
smallish bunch fresh coriander, chopped
splash of balsamic vinegar
Put all of the ingredients except the last two into a medium-sized pan and simmer until the onion is soft and the liquid has reduced (about 30 minutes).
Turn off the heat and add the last 2 ingredients. Check seasoning. Stir and serve at room temperature with burgers or nachos, or put it in a jar and use as a relish. I’ve no idea how long it keeps.
4 inches finely chopped (not processed) cucumber, skin on
1 clove garlic
half teaspoon dried mint
250g natural yoghurt
Mix it all together and serve with lamb kebabs or lamb burgers. Alternatively, pretend it’s raita and serve with any tomato-based curry. This has to be eaten on the same night as it’s made.
Truthfully? I normally just buy it from the supermarket, put it in a nice bowl, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle on some coriander.
If there’s no time to shop for it, skoosh up a tin of chickpeas, one clove of garlic, a teaspoon of cumin and half a teaspoon cayenne pepper with the juice of a lemon. Add olive oil gradually until you reach the right texture and tweak the lemon/salt/cumin/oil until it tastes OK.