Delicious dips: homemade tapenade and tzatziki recipes

Need more excuses to eat your veggies? These savoury dips are easy to make and great for parties.

Delicious dips: homemade tapenade and tzatziki recipes

Tapenade

Not for the faint of palate, this rich spread combines the heady taste of Mediterranean or Greek olives, anchovies, capers and garlic. Available in more and more specialty departments of supermarkets, it is a pricey treat.

Make your own and enjoy it on toasted slices of Italian bread, drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil. Tapenade also makes an exceptional spread for an Italian hard sausage sandwich.

Makes about 250 millilitres (one cup)

  • 250 ml (1 c) oil-cured Mediterranean or Greek black olives, pitted
  • 6 to 8 anchovy fillets
  • 50 ml (1/4 c) capers, drained
  • 2 garlic cloves, halved
  • 10 ml (2 tsp) lemon juice
  • 45 to 60 ml (3 to 4 tbsp) extra-virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste1. In the bowl of a food processor or blender, combine the olives, anchovy fillets, capers, garlic and lemon juice. Whirl until the mixture is finely chopped.2. Add 45 millilitres (three tablespoons) of the olive oil, pulsing on and off, until the mixture is a spreadable, grainy paste; add additional olive oil as needed to reach the desired consistency. Taste the tapenade and season with the pepper.

Tzatziki

A creamy cucumber concoction to cool the fires of the spiciest dish, this quintessential Greek dip is a natural in summer, when cucumbers are plentiful. You can buy it in specialty shops, but it is easy to make your own. Serve it with crudités, chips or pita triangles, as a dressing for Greek salad, or as a side for grilled kabobs or fish.

Makes about 600 millilitres (2 1/2 cups)

  • 1 medium cucumber, peeled, sliced lengthwise and seeded
  • 500 ml (2 c) plain nonfat yogurt
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 15 ml (1 tbsp) minced fresh mint
  • 30 ml (2 tbsp) olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Additional olive oil1. Cut the cucumber into small dice and place the pieces between layers of paper towels to dry well.2. In a medium bowl, combine the yogurt, cucumber pieces, garlic, mint and olive oil, and stir until all the ingredients are well blended. Taste the tzatziki and season with salt and pepper.

    3. Spoon the tzatziki into a serving bowl and drizzle olive oil over the top.

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