Turkish Dip

Turkish Dip – dip, topping, sauce or spread   makes 1 ¼ cups

No gluten, dairy, legumes or nightshades

The Ottoman Empire introduced many culinary practices to southern Europe, including the use of nuts, herbs and spices pulverised to produce creamy (yet often dairy-free) sauces, dips and toppings. This recipe is based on a classic Turkish and Caucasus regional dish for Circassian Chicken. Poached chicken is served cold with this topping, which looks and taste like a cross between hummus and pesto.

Colourfully flecked, thick and flavourful, this protein, mineral and antioxidant-rich topping is wonderful as a dip for raw veg, or as a spread on crackers, bread or wraps. Or for a vegetarian main, use as a room temperature topping on cooked pumpkin, eggplant or courgette (accompany with quinoa or brown rice). Or dollop on fish or chicken; tofu kebabs or other BBQ fare.

½ cup gluten and dairy-free breadcrumbs (eg use crumbled or ground Venerdi or Bakeworks bread)
¼ cup homemade or top quality chicken stock*
½ cup walnuts
½ cup pistachios
1 tsp Spanish sweet paprika*
1 cup fresh coriander (about 1 supermarket plant), or mixed mint and parsley
2 small, or 1 large spring onion
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil*
1 large garlic clove
1 tsp herb salt with kelp*
6-8 Tbsp chicken stock*

Place the breadcrumbs in ¼ cup stock 5 minutes or more until well soaked.

In a sturdy frypan, toast walnuts, pistachios and Spanish paprika over low-medium heat about 3 minutes until fragrant, not browned. Place in a food processor with the soaked bread, coriander, onions, herbs, oil, garlic and salt. Process until well chopped. Add 6 Tbsp stock until creamy, but flecked with colour and texture. More stock can be added to thin as desired. Mixture will thicken further with standing.

Place in jar, cover and chill for up to 7 days.

Shopping and Preparation Tips*

  • Olive Oil: extra virgin olive oil is achieved by using cold mechanical pressure rather than the high heat and chemical solvents typical to most supermarket oils. These practices damage oils and the people who eat them. For information on which fats to choose for which purpose and why, see my TIPS article: The Fats of Life.

  • Paprika: only use top quality smoky, sweet Spanish paprika such as La Chinata. This is sold in small decorative tins in the supermarket. Ordinary paprika is usually stale, pale and without the punchy vigour this product contributes to dishes.

  • Stock: use homemade meat or fish stock from simmered bones for maximum flavour and nutrients, or vegetable stock (see The Shape Diet), or top quality purchased stock (theorganicfarm.co.nz). Most supermarket stock has sugar, wheat and artificial additives (see website TIPS: MSG).

  • Sea salt: is sea water dehydrated by sun. When mixed with seaweed or kelp (containing iodine and other minerals low in our soil) it is ideal in terms of flavour (interesting but not too strong) and mineral balance. Try Pacific Harvest or Malcolm Harker brands; both in health and gourmet stores. NOTE these are less salty in taste than other brands. Ordinary salt is taken from mines or sea and so highly refined over extreme heat that it contains nothing but sodium chloride. All other minerals are stripped away, such as potassium and magnesium which help regulate fluid balance and blood pressure. Bleach as a whitener and chemicals to prevent clumping may be added to table salt.

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