We have always found canapés to be tricky little things. Meager and contrived, they are a total drag at most parties. We far prefer shared plates: flavourful dips, well-crafted cheese boards and bowls of crisp croquettes…to be nibbled at, yes, but still very much enjoyed.
Dips are one of our favourite things to serve alongside pre-dinner drinks. The green pistachio, with its subtle pink tones, makes this a sure showstopper. Whizzed together from pumpkin seeds, lime juice and charred green onions, this dip has a flavour reminiscent of both hummus and Mexican mole – we are mad for it! (Nuts and seeds are a great base for any dip in fact. They are nutritionally dense and become wonderfully smooth when blended).
Hearty dips pair perfectly with bread but this is delicate, and best enjoyed with an equally delicate cracker (flax is a good option for those looking to avoid gluten).
Just last week we chose to serve it at an early evening get-together…to roaring applause!
serves 4 – 6
½ bunch spring onion, both white and tender green parts
½ cup / 120ml olive oil
10 garlic cloves
1 ½ cups / 220g shelled pistachios
½ cup / 65g pumpkin seeds
1 mild green chili, coarsely chopped
juice of 1 ½ limes
30g coriander, chopped plus extra to finish
thinly sliced radish
Preheat the oven to 180˚C /350 F. Spread the pistachios and pumpkin seeds on a baking tray and roast for 5 minutes, until warm and fragrant. Let cool to room temperature then measure out ½ cup / 70g and set aside. Thinly slice one or two spring onions for the finishing touch. Halve the remaining lengthwise and cut into 2.5 cm lengths.
Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium to high heat. Add the green onions and cook until they begin to char, pressing down on them firmly (about 3 minutes). Turn and repeat on the second side. Let cool to room temperature. In small saucepan over low heat, add the olive oil and garlic and cook until the cloves are tender, about 15 – 20 minutes.
In a blender, combine the pistachio-pumpkin seed mixture, chili, the poached garlic and its cooking oil. Add the charred spring onions, lime juice, coriander and 2 teaspoons of sea salt. Whizz until smooth.
To serve, spoon the dip onto a serving platter and top with the reserved nuts and seeds. Add the radish, spring onion and extra coriander leaves. Drizzle with a little olive oil and a squeeze of lime.
Tweaked from Bar Tartine: Techniques and Recipes by Nicolaus Balla and Cortney Burns