Taste test: Spiral’s dip and toss oils

spiral-oils

Spiral Foods has an exciting range of Mediterranean inspired dip and toss oils, made from 100% extra virgin olive oil. They come in three flavours:

  • sundried tomato and basil which was great in a greek salad (below)
  • rosemary and roasted garlic which was a perfect match for cold lamb and roasted vegetables salad
  • and basil and Parmesan which turned a simple potato salad into something special.

greek-salad

You could also use the oils for dipping bread in, or tossing through pasta for a quick and easy dinner. The best thing about these oils are that they are certified gluten-free and sugar free. What I really like about these products is there’s only natural real ingredients listed on the bottle, and there are no strange unpronounceable nasties.

All three flavours are balanced well and would make a delicious addition to your kitchen. They come in an attractive slim bottle, and would make a nice gift idea paired with packet of fancy pasta.

Available from the Spiral Foods website.

Thank you Spiral Foods for allowing me to trial these products. 

Baba ghanoush (Greek)

We are currently growing a beautiful Italian heirloom variety of eggplant called Listada de Gandia – the best thing about them is that they are a really good size (not too big or small) and you don’t need to salt them.

The first way I learnt to make baba ghanoush was to simply roast the eggplant, remove the skin and place it in a food processor with a little olive oil. I hadn’t really liked eggplant until then.

To jazz up your eggplant (aubergine) dip try this recipe with a few more ingredients. Tahini is made from sesame seeds, which makes it very high in calcium, and like sesame oil it can have a strong taste. You could roast the garlic with your eggplant for a milder taste.

1 medium sized eggplant
1 clove of garlic
½ lemon, freshly squeezed juice
1 tbsp tahini
extra virgin olive oil
spray oil

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C.
  2. Lightly spray oil on the outside of the eggplant and place on a prepared baking tray. Roast, turning occasionally, for about 30 minutes or until very tender. Remove the skin.
  3. Place the eggplant flesh and the other ingredients into a food processor. Process until you have a smooth paste.

Serve warm or cooled with Turkish or pita bread.

Written for Daily Tiffin’s Grow Your Own 2009 May #28 challenge.

Best guacamole

We have one young avocado tree but it’s showing no signs of fruiting. They can take up half the backyard, but ours is a dwarf. Avocados are high in good fats and are great for your skin.

We often have guacamole on Sunday afternoon as a snack. After lots of trial and error this is currently my favourite combination. Big M doesn’t like any type of onion so I leave it out for his half. We like to serve the dip with Byron Bay corn chips as they aren’t covered in fake flavouring and let the guac shine through. I only season with pepper as the corn chips are usually salty enough.

Best Guacamole

1 avocado
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 lime or ½ lemon, juiced
1 large tomato or a small handful of cherry tomatoes
1 spring onion or onion chives
pepper

  1. Cut avocado in half and remove the seed. Then gently dice the flesh in a cross-hatch pattern, taking care not to break through the peel.
  2. Squeeze avocado out into a bowl. Mash the avocado and mix in the olive oil.
  3. Add the juice of a lime (or lemon) for zing.
  4. Then whisk vigorously with a fork to combine. You could use a blender if you wanted a really smooth texture.
  5. Cut up the tomato and add.
  6. Finely slice the green part of one spring onion, or dice a few onion chives. Add and just mix to combine.
  7. Season with pepper.

Optional: If you like add diced coriander and/or chili for a more authentic taste.