In recent times family catch up nights have taken place in my teeny apartment. It’s a “bring your own chair, I think I’m right for plates and forks but mum can you bring some dessert please, someone will probably be drinking wine from a kids plastic cup” style affair. We squeeze into my lounge room, I squeeze food out of my little kitchen and we have a nice time. Kid will play her clarinet or entertain us with one of her joke books.
Tonight is different.
Grandad (my Dad) has a new bbq and bbq area out the back of the family house so of course it must be christened. Dad will be cooking. His bbq, his castle after all.
Can I bring dessert then? ‘Nah, nah I think your mother’s done something. You don’t need to bring anything.’
Rubbish, I have to take something at least. So I’m making this simple,healthy dip and some crackers that don’t come from a packet.
Carrot and Feta Dip.
Ingredients -( makes about 2 cups of dip)
2 good looking large carrots. About 100gm soft feta ( I used Danish, Persian would be great but is expensive), olive oil.
Peel and grate the carrots. Sauté them in a fry pan or saucepan using about a tablespoon of olive oil and a pinch of salt, stirring all the while. They will begin to soften. Put a lid on after a couple of minutes and let them cook right through. Allow them to cool a little, crumble the feta in and process thoroughly until smooth. Refrigerate.
Carrots are full of sweetness and you want to use that here to get maximum flavour whilst sauteing. They are also full of water and we want to use that to help cook them instead of adding liquid and watering down the great natural flavour. That’s why I put a lid on, to trap in some moisture.
Arrange oiled bread pieces on a baking tray using some baking paper, it’s a bit like crispbread tetras
Cook them on 150*c for about 10-15 mins, checking all the while. When they are a light brown colour and snap when broken you are ready.
Beware the bottom of the oven – the left hand tray are a little over done. If I was at work and I was my apprentice I would be making me do them again. Luckily we are at home where we celebrate some imperfections.
I used mountain bread because it is light and delicate. You could easily replace it with tortilla bread, pita or even some sliced up old French stick or burger rolls.
Off to Mum and Dad’s!
I also took along some nuts and green olives from my favourite deli. We were 8 people and that was plenty for pre dinner.
Dad cooked sausages, chicken and lamb. We had mum’s sought after potato salad, some green salad from their garden and there was a wonderful sweet potato pie for my wonderful vegetarian girlfriend.
Then there was cheesecake.
Mum baked, kid decorated ( and licked the beater).There weren’t many left!