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26.08.2020

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A delicious garlicky dip originating from the Greek island group of the Cyclades, made with lots of parsley and olive oil. A fab way to use up that bunch of parsley lurking in the produce draw, and that piece of yesterday’s bread that needs to be used up.

Many moons ago, I worked for a cruise agency. My role among other things involved organising tours for cruise ship passengers at the various Greek ports they visited. Needless to say my job required a fair bit of travelling. It was super hard work but I did get to see more of Greece (and a couple of other places like Miami and Seattle!) than I would have if I did something else. Anyway, as you can imagine I visited quite a few islands. One of those was Syros, a beautiful island that is fairly unspoilt by tourism and boasts numerous tiny restaurants with great food.

It was at one of these little restaurants (aka tavernas) that I tried what was called “parsley salad”. It was gorgeous. If you’re wondering about the name, Greek cuisine has many dip-like dishes that are called “salads” for some reason. Eggplant salad (melitzanosalata), cheese dip (tyrosalata), fish roe dip (taramosalata – yes, it’s taramOsalata), beetroot dip (pantzarosalata) and the list goes on. Parsley dip/salad however is not one of the well known ones and you don’t come across it often. In fact I never had it again after that one time, even though I would have definitely chosen it if I’d come across it on a menu.

Greek Island Garlicky Parsley Dip with Easy Pitta Chips www.thefoodiecorner.gr Photo description: A bowl of parsley dip with a garnish of lemon, capers and chives, sitting on a piece of denim cloth.

For some reason I recently thought about this dish again. I happened to have loads of parsley left over from a photo shoot (you know, when you have to buy a whole bunch in order to scatter five leaves over a plate of food, lol) and I was trying to think of a way to eat it up (a way that wasn’t pesto again). In a rare moment of clarity and good memory (I am SO forgetful) I remembered that I have a lovely Greek book that focuses on the culinary traditions of the Cyclades Islands (Essence of Cyclades). Sure enough, it included a recipe for parsley salad which I used for inspiration and created this version. It turned out great, but I will definitely use less garlic next time, or maybe switch the plain cloves for pickled or roasted cloves instead. I’m a bit of a lightweight when it comes to garlic! You can go with your own tastebuds on this.

This version of the dip is nice and thick so it can be used as a spread on crackers, bread, pitta chips etc. Talking about pitta chips, I’m including some info on how I made these crispy babies in the photo. No not from scratch you guys, it’s summer, it’s hot and I don’t love baking enough to start making my own pitta bread! I’ve been making these for years and I originally got the idea from my friend Marilita’s post here. (it’s in Greek but there’s a translate button)

Greek Island Garlicky Parsley Dip with Easy Pitta Chips www.thefoodiecorner.gr Photo description: A close view of a bowl of parsley dip garnished with lemon pieces, capers and chopped chives. To the top of the bowl are some pitta chips. Everything is sitting on a piece of denim cloth.

Hope you like the dip and the chips, if you make them please let me know, I love hearing how my recipes turn out for you! (Don’t forget you can tag me on IG if you take pics – @thefoodiecorner and #thefoodiecorner)

Ingredients

200 gr parsley (I used the stems too - I hate food waste!)

4 garlic cloves (I will use less next time, or sub with pickled garlic cloves)

2 Tbs capers (I don’t rinse them)

45 ml (3 Tbs) lemon juice, freshly squeezed (I leave the pulp in) + extra for serving

30 ml (2 Tbs) apple vinegar

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp lemon pepper

120 gr bread (not sliced bread), soaked in water for a few minutes (see note)

120 ml (1/2 cup) extra virgin olive oil, good quality + extra to garnish if desired

For the pitta chips

Arabic pitta bread aka flatbread (the thin kind, not the Greek style pitta which is thicker)

Olive oil

Sea salt

Your favourite spice or herbs (I used cumin, sumac, garlic powder and a mediterranean herb mix - not all together)

Step 1

Put the parsley, garlic, capers, lemon juice, vinegar, salt and lemon pepper into a good food processor or blender.

Step 2

Squeeze all the water out of the bread (make sure the crusts are soft) and break it up into the processor.

Step 3

Add half the oil and blitz/blend. Keep adding oil as necessary so that the mixture becomes fairly smooth and all the ingredients are well incorporated. You will probably need the full amount of oil stated (1/2 cup).

Step 4

Serve with extra olive oil and lemon juice if desired.

Step 5

For the pitta chips, just cut up the pitta bread into the desired shapes, lay the pieces out on a baking tray (spaced out), brush with a few drops of olive oil, sprinkle with salt and your favourite spice and bake in a preheated oven (180C fan assisted, 200C conventional) for 4-7 minutes until golden and crispy. The time will depend on how high your oven runs but also on how well it has preheated. My first batch took 7 minutes but the next few took less (the last one just 4 minutes). So watch them at all times! Serve with parsley dip or any other dip you like!

Note: I use the bread crust too but it has to soften up well when soaked. Also a good food processor is required to get the dip smooth.

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