12 Recipes of Christmas: 3 festive dips to get you through the season

Dec 20, 2021
Source: Getty Images

I always like to have some dip ready for the festive season. It’s great to scoop with chips, crackers and bits of vegetables, and can help ease the hunger pangs between meals.

If you’re on the hunt for a dip recipe, here are three of my ‘festive favourites’ — Italian Cheese Log, Spinach Artichoke and Avocado Hummus. They are quick and easy, and oh-so tasty!

Serves 10-15.

Italian Cheese Log

Ingredients

  • 500g cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 tsp each thyme, oregano, basil, rosemary, black pepper OR 1 tsp Italian Seasoning
  • 1 tsp each garlic powder, salt, red pepper/chilli flakes (adjust to taste)
  • 2 cups cheddar or other cheese, freshly grated
  • 280g roasted capsicum, drained and finely chopped
  • 180g salami, finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup green olives, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup green onion, finely minced
  • 220g sun-dried tomato strips with oil, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup parsley or chives, finely chopped

Method

  1. Spray a loaf pan with oil then line with cling wrap with overhang.
  2. Mix Cheese Log ingredients together. Taste and adjust salt if needed (consider the saltiness of crackers you are serving with).
  3. Scrape into loaf pan and level surface, pressing to remove air pockets. Smaller pan = taller loaf.
  4. Cover with cling wrap overhang and refrigerate for 4 hours+ (up to 1 week).
  5. Turn out onto platter, peel off cling wrap.
  6. Top with sun-dried tomato and pour over oil. Garnish with parsley and rosemary sprigs to give it a festive look.
  7. Best served at room temperature. Serve with crackers!

Spinach Artichoke Dip

Ingredients

  • 400g artichoke hearts in brine, drained
  • 250g frozen chopped spinach, thawed
  • 250g Philadelphia cream cheese
  • 1 tsp garlic powder (or 2 garlic cloves, minced)
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sour cream or yoghurt (full fat recommended)
  • 1 cup cheese, grated (any with flavour like Cheddar, Colby, Tasty Cheese)
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Method

  1. Roughly chop the artichokes.
  2. Squeeze excess liquid out of spinach using either use paper towels or a clean dish towel.
  3. Place cream cheese in a large heatproof bowl. Microwave in 2 x 30 second bursts or until softened. Mix until smooth.
  4. Add remaining ingredients. Mix until just combined.
  5. Warm in microwave to your taste. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Best served warm, but terrific served at room temperature too! Serve with your favourite crackers, vegetable sticks and chips.

Avocado Hummus Dip

Ingredients

  • 1 large avocado
  • 400g can chickpeas
  • 3 tbsp tahini (sesame paste) or yoghurt
  • 2-3 tbsp fresh lemon or lime juice
  • 1/4 cup coriander, packed
  • 2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large garlic clove

Method

  1. Cut avocado in half, remove seed. Use spoon to scoop flesh into food processor. Add remaining ingredients. Start with just a pinch of salt because canned chick peas vary in saltiness.
  2. Whizz until smooth, scraping down sides as required.
  3. Adjust: sour with lemon, salt, pepper, and dip consistency with water. Whizz again.
  4. Dollop onto plate. Use spoon to make swirls on top.

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