It's hot, humid and Australia Day.
I remember it being the same way this time last year too. What better way to show our patriotism than pack a picnic, dust off the boogie boards, jump in the car (minus stereo and a/c- not happy!) and join the thousands of Aussies that head to the beach to celebrate living in this beautiful country. As far as I remember, Australia Day is all about kicking back with friends, eating good food and knocking off a few coldies (beers) at the beach, in a park, anywhere out in the great outdoors where fun can be had.
I was flicking through a few of my favourite blogs this morning trying to come up with something to eat with the chicken I roasted. I had in my mind, cold lemon and oregano roast chicken served with crusty bread, a chunk of brie, cold beer and....????? Veggie Mama had just blogged about pumpkin scones which I do love, but I had just popped a lemon and blueberry butter cake in the oven (recipe coming soon) for our afternoon tea so I went with the pumpkin idea but just in a different light.
I needed a salad of some sort, however, we were going to the beach and I could just see sand getting flicked into it before even eating it! What else to do with pumpkin.......turn into a dip of course. I had some fabulous little cherry tomatoes sitting on the counter so I decided to go with the veggie theme and do a classic 1970's veggie stick with dip scenario.
I have to tell you, it worked a treat and Alex even had a few dips into the pumpkin dip (a vegetable he would usually poke his tongue out at). Our lovely friend Tanya made a delicious mushroom and bacon quiche which had a beautiful buttery pastry crust that complimented the lunch perfectly.
A great day was had by all. Our bellies were full, the sun was shining and I managed a sand free lunch, so lovin' the veggie sticks and dip idea.
Pumpkin chickpea and vino cotto dip
1 tin chickpeas, drained
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves
400 grams pumpkin, peeled and pre-boiled
1 tablespoon vino cotto
juice of half a lemon
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
In a food processor add chickpeas, garlic and oregano leaves. Blend for 10 seconds.
Add cooked pumpkin, vino cotto, lemon juice and olive oil.
Blend until well combined.
Scrape down the sides of bowl, season with salt and pepper, blend again and then serve with veggie sticks.
Note: Leave for flavours to meld for at least 1 hour for excellent results.