Niki’s Italian Dips

2016, Easter, Healthy, International, Savoury, Spring, Summer

dips

Buonasera!

Fancy a light aperitif? My trio of Italian inspired dips are sure to tickle your taste buds whilst giving you that healthy boost as well. Whilst walking around the streets of Milan in the evening I was pleasantly assaulted with the delicious aromas of small hot plates of food. From colourful rich dips to little cuts of salami, mortadella and of course bianco focaccia/pizza, these aperitifs were a true feast for the eyes. I would like to share my own version based on what saw out there and inject some Italian into your dips!
All you need for the three dips are:
For the basil infused houmous:

1 tablespoon of chopped basil
½ jar of cooked chickpeas, drained and washed
½ teaspoon of Himalayan sea salt and white pepper
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon of tahini paste
1 small garlic clove, crushed
For the orange/red roasted pepper dip:

1 orange/red pepper, chargrilled and roasted
1 tablespoon of fresh chopped basil
½ jar of cooked chickpeas
½ teaspoon of Himalayan sea salt and Turkish red chilli flakes (optional)
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 small garlic clove, crushed

For the beetroot-thyme houmous:

1 small beetroot cooked and roughly chopped
1 tablespoon of finely chopped thyme (dried is okay here too)
½ jar of cooked chickpeas, drained and washed
½ teaspoon of Himalayan sea salt and white pepper
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon of tahini paste
1 small garlic clove, crushed
Simply blitz your chosen dip in a food processor on high pulses for about five minutes or so until ultra-smooth. These dips are best served chilled and last up to 5 days in the fridge.

Buenisimo!

Happy baking!

Niki

Niki’s Milanese Meatballs

2016, Healthy, International, Savoury, Spring

mila2

Bonjourno my lovely readers and welcome to my Italian week! 

I would like to start off my Italian week with my delicious and sumptuous Milanese meatballs. Upon my recent trip to Milan, I was truly taken aback by all the vibrant colours and alluring aromas of roasted garlic and basil wafting in the residential streets. Steaming hot pasta dishes glistening in top quality extra virgin olive oil to sweet and decadent dolce treats lining the cobbled streets of central Milan. One thing I was particularly taken with was all the delicious meat dishes and of course the meatballs. There are a million ways to create a meatball out there, I saw some stuffed with eggs, oozing mozzarella cheese and deep fried with breadcrumbs and herbs. Now of course, whilst it was amazing to see all of this I want to now show you my take on the classic meatball, Milanese style.

All you need is: 

500g of organic grass fed beef
1/2 teaspoon of Himalayan salt and cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon of chopped up basil
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon of ground coriander
I egg yolk
2 tomatoes, peeled and chopped
1 cup of water
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 extra tablespoon of basil, roughly geared up
1 teaspoon of tomato purée

 

Simply mix your beef with your seasoning, egg yolk, basil and 1 clove of garlic. Set aside for 30 minutes. Next, in a separate pan heat your oil and add in the other clove of garlic and heat gently with your tomato purée. After a couple of minutes, turn up the heat to a high flame and add in your chopped tomatoes, stir well. Then, shape your meatballs into small sized balls using a teaspoon to measure them out equally. Pop them into your tomato sauce and lower the heat. Simmer your dish for 20 minutes and just before you’re ready to serve, garnish with your basil. 

Buonissimo! 

Happy Baking! 

Niki