We got back from Milos on Monday, always hard to leave. The weather this spring was mixed but we were lucky enough to have a gorgeous evening for the last night of K and L’s visit. We had dinner plans at Yialos and I wanted to make something a little extra for our aperitif.
Three issues; K and L don’t eat fish so my first instinct to take inspiration from Beth’s last post wasn’t going to work, the fridge was almost empty, and I needed to get back upstairs to write. So when I started to make lunch, I took stock of what was on hand and it was a pretty dreary and limited selection. Black olives, green olive paste (not home made this time) and pistachios plus; one medium red onion, half a cucumber, a couple of green peppers, two spring onions, half a yellow pepper and one orange pepper. There was also; fresh sheep yoghurt and hard cheese from ‘our lady’, some feta and a bit of pecorino.
I reached back to my Canadian youth and decided on veggies and dips. Back in the old days, dips were bought (dill, my fave) or made by adding onion soup mix to sour cream. Neither were an option here and besides, I’ve grown up a little since then. Artichokes and roasted potatoes (delish!) were on the lunch menu, so the oven was already on and my eureka moment came.
I cut the yellow and orange peppers into chunks and put them on a cookie sheet, same with the spring onions and drizzled them with a little olive oil (a teaspoon or so: not like on tv when they say a little and pour a litre of the stuff on everything!) and bam, into the 200C oven for about twenty minutes. Then I sliced the red onion in super, super fine slices and separated them into rings before putting them into a small skillet with a tablespoon of olive oil. I turned the heat to medium low and let them caramelize, giving them a little stir every once in a while. And now I was free to clear up from lunch prep. Big fun! I let the vegetables cool and then it was lunchtime.
Onion dip: in a small bowl food processor, put the caramelized onion and the roasted spring onion and add yoghurt ( about half a cup). Grind in black pepper to taste. You could also use cottage cheese, regular Greek yoghurt or cream. Pulse to mix – mine was way too thin so I threw in some feta and was so glad I did because it really lifted the flavour. No need for salt. Put in a little bowl, cover and refrigerate.
Pepper dip: do exactly the same thing. This time I didn’t use as much yoghurt but used some of the pecorino as well as feta. The colour was vibrant and the roast pepper flavour was dynamite. Red peppers would be great too.
Several hours later, all that was left to do was cut up the cucumber and peppers, arrange things on the table and call the folks in time for sunset. It was a lovely evening with good company that got off to a pleasant start with chilled wine and a few tasty nibbles.