Baba ganoush means "the darling of her father" in Arabic. It's also the darling of our dip plate, and this version from Middle Eastern restaurant Honey and Co is one of the best we've ever eaten. Honey and Co Restaurant, honeyandco.co.uk
Serves 4-6 2 aubergines 2 tbsp olive oil 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped A pinch of cayenne pepper ½ tsp ground cumin ½ tsp ground caraway seeds 1 tbsp tomato puree 1-2 tsp harissa paste, or to taste ½ tsp sea salt 1 tbsp lemon juice 1 small bunch coriander, chopped
1 To roast the aubergines, either cook over a barbecue until blackened, or hold over a gas flame to achieve the same effect – in both instances, the aubergines are cooked when they soften and collapse.
2 In a small saucepan, mix the olive oil with the garlic, cayenne, cumin and caraway and warm over a medium heat to infuse the flavours – when the oil smells fragrant and the garlic has softened, add the tomato puree and the harissa paste, then fry for 30 seconds, keeping the heat low and stirring constantly.
3 Add the aubergine and mix to combine, then add the salt and the lemon juice and mash into a chunky puree. Transfer to an airtight container and cool for 2-3 hours to allow the flavours to infuse. It will keep for 2-3 days and get better with time.
4 When you want to serve, mix well, adjust the seasoning, if needed, and sprinkle the chopped coriander over the top.
This Turkish dip is an essential on the mezze table. Try sprinkling your flatbreads with olive oil and sumac before warming in the oven. Istanbul by Rebecca Seal (Hardie Grant)
Serves 4-6 400g raw beetroot, left whole and unpeeled 2 tbsp olive oil, plus 1 tsp per beetroot, for roasting Salt 6 tbsp plain Turkish or Greek-style yoghurt 2 garlic cloves, crushed Flatbread and raw vegetables, to serve
1 Heat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Rub each beetroot with 1 tsp oil and sprinkle with a little salt. Wrap them in foil and roast for 1 hour, or until they are soft and the point of a knife goes in easily. Remove from the oven.
2 When cool enough to handle, strip off the tough outer skin of the beetroots: use your thumbs to rub it off. Quarter and place in a blender with the olive oil, yoghurt and garlic, then blitz until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary. Serve with slices of warm flatbread or raw vegetables.
As soon as we tried this hybrid dip, we were completely hooked. It's great served at room temperature with breadcrumbed or battered fish, or even topped with a fried egg and sprinkled with dukkah. Snackistan by Sally Butcher (Pavilion)
Serves 4-8 For the pitta chips 1-2 tbsp oil ½ tsp ground coriander ½ tsp ground cumin ½ garlic clove, crushed A pinch of chilli flakes 4 pitta breads, split and cut into triangles
For the mushy pea hummus 2 small tins (around 360g drained weight) mushy or marrowfat peas 1½ tbsp tahini 1½ tbsp lime juice ½ tsp ground cumin ½ tsp dried mint ½ tsp chilli (red pepper) flakes (optional) 2 garlic cloves, peeled 1–2 tbsp olive oil Salt, to taste Sumac, to garnish
1 To make the pitta bread chips, heat the oil in a frying pan with the spices and garlic, then fry the pitta triangles until golden and crisp. Drain on kitchen paper and set aside.
2 If using marrowfat peas, drain most, but not all, of the liquid away. Put all the ingredients except the oil, salt and sumac in a blender and whizz for just a minute or two: you are aiming for a dip with texture rather than a homogenised green paste. With the motor still running, trickle in the olive oil and season to taste. Chill for 30 minutes (anything with tahini in it will thicken in the fridge). Sprinkle with sumac.
3 Arrange your cooled pitta chips on a platter with a bowl of pea hummus in the middle.
This all-American dip is as rich, unhealthy and as completely delicious as it sounds, so eating it in moderation is definitely advised. Serve straight from the oven alongside strips of hot toast. Ree Drummond, thepioneerwoman.com
Serves 10-12 400g tin artichoke hearts, drained 10 whole black olives 225g cream cheese 250g mayonnaise 1 egg ¼ red onion, diced 3 tbsp parmesan or vegetarian alternative, grated 3 splashes of Worcestershire sauce Salt and black pepper, to taste Cayenne pepper, to taste Strips of hot toast, to serve
1 Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Combine all the ingredients in a blender, then whizz for a couple of minutes until combined. Stir and check seasonings.
2 Pour into a small baking dish, then cook for 20-25 minutes, or until hot and bubbling. Serve with toast.
Try this as a light and creamy, zesty pudding, or simply a wickedly indulgent way to kick off a weekend brunch. Justine Pattison, twitter: @JustinePattison
Serves 6 250g mascarpone cheese Freshly squeezed juice of 1 large orange (about 6 tbsp) Finely grated zest of ½ large orange 4 tsp runny honey
For the caramel figs 6 small fresh figs, quartered 75g shelled pistachio nuts or toasted flaked almonds, chopped 150g caster sugar 3 tbsp cold water
1 Put the mascarpone in a bowl and slowly add the orange juice, stirring constantly until smooth. Stir in the orange zest and 1 tbsp honey. Spoon into a small serving dish and drizzle with the remaining 1 tsp honey.
2 To prepare the figs, poke a wooden skewer into the base of each fig quarter and place on a tray lined with nonstick baking paper. Put the chopped pistachios or almonds in a bowl.
3 Put the sugar and water in a medium saucepan and heat gently, stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil and cook without stirring until the sugar caramelises and turns golden brown. Swirl the caramel very gently around the pan occasionally as it cooks, but make sure it doesn't splash. Don't be tempted to touch or taste the caramel as it will be extremely hot. Take the pan off the heat.
4 One at a time, dip the fig quarters into the hot caramel and swirl around until coated. Roll in the chopped nuts, then place on the baking paper and leave to cool. If the caramel begins to stiffen in the pan, warm gently for a few seconds and then continue.
5 Carefully snip off a few cm from each skewer and arrange the cooled figs on a platter. Serve with the mascarpone dip.
A classic Greek fish roe dip that makes a great starter, and one you can easily prepare in advance. Serve alongside the mushy-pea hummus and beetroot dip for a very pretty colourful table. Mazi restaurant, mazi.co.uk
Serves 6 1 small potato, about 60g, peeled ½ onion, finely sliced 60g fish roe 2-3 tbsp lemon juice 300ml sunflower oil Zest of ½ lemon Olive oil Warmed flatbreads, to serve
1 Boil the potato until tender, drain then put into a blender with the onion, fish roe and lemon juice and whizz until smooth. Slowly add the sunflower oil until the dip is soft and velvety in texture.
2 Garnish with the lemon zest and a drizzle of olive oil, then serve with warm flatbreads.
A Thai-inspired dip with a difference – perfect for scooping at with a chunk of white cabbage and salty, crispy pork crackling. Olia Hercules, oliahercules.com
Serves 4 For the crackling 300g pork skin, with 1cm thickness of fat 2 tsp sea salt 4 tbsp white wine vinegar
For the paste 6 large dried red chillies, soaked, drained and deseeded 1 tsp sea salt 1 lemongrass, roughly chopped 2 large shallots, peeled and roughly chopped 6 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped 2.5cm galangal, chopped 1 tsp shrimp paste 150g cherry tomatoes
For the dip 3 garlic cloves ½ tsp sea salt 1 tbsp vegetable oil 250g fatty pork mince 2 tsp fish sauce 2 tbsp palm sugar 50ml tamarind water
To serve White cabbage cut into thin wedges, to serve
1 Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6. Rub the salt and vinegar all over the pork skin and let it stand for 15 minutes, then roast in the oven for 30-40 minutes, until crisp.
2 You can make the paste in a food processor, but best results are achieved using a pestle and mortar. First, pound the chillies with the salt, and then add the rest of the ingredients one by one until the paste fine.
3 For the dip, combine the garlic with the salt and pound into a paste. Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the garlic over a low heat for a minute or so, stirring constantly, until fragrant, then add the paste and fry for 2 minutes.
4 Add the mince and fry it for another couple of minutes.
5 Add the fish sauce, palm sugar and tamarind, then cook over a low heat for 20 minutes until it resembles a thick bolognese sauce. It should be salty, sweet and sour.
6 Serve in a large bowl with the pork crackling and wedges of white cabbage on the side.
Serve this dip with prawn crackers, if you don't have time to make the rice ones, but it's well worth the effort, and any leftovers will keep in an airtight container for a week. Scott Hallsworth, Kurobuta Restaurant, kurobuta-london.com
Serves 4 2 avocados, diced 1 fresh jalapeno chilli or green chilli, finely chopped 20ml fresh lime juice 1 tbsp crushed, toasted sesame seeds 1 tsp white miso paste Salt and black pepper
For the rice crackers 200g sushi rice 1 piece of kombu (optional) Rapeseed oil, for frying
1 Put the sushi rice in a saucepan with 220ml water, then add a small stick of kombu, if using. Bring to the boil and stir, then continue to simmer until the rice becomes porridge-like; you may need to add more water.
2 Preheat your oven to the lowest setting. Pour the rice mixture on to a baking tray then spread evenly and dry out for 3-4 hours, or for as long as possible. Once the rice has dried, it will look like a translucent plastic sheet.
3 Pour the rapeseed oil into a saucepan and heat to 200C/400F, or until almost smoking. Break small pieces from the rice sheet and drop into the oil; the rice will immediately fizz then roughly triple in size, so don't fry too much at once. Drain on kitchen paper.
4 To make the dip, put all the ingredients into a large mixing bowl then mash together, leaving a few larger pieces of avocado for texture, then serve with the rice crackers.
Nut-based dips are a great source of protein and a heartier vegan option. Try spreading this on hot toast and topping with roasted tomatoes for lunch. Katherine Martinelli, katherinemartinelli.com
Serves 8 140g cashews 140ml water 3 chipotle chillies in adobo, seeds removed 1 tsp sea salt 1 tsp smoked paprika 1½ tbsp sugar Tortilla chips, to serve
1 Put the cashews in a heavy-based frying pan and lightly toast over a medium heat, until browned. Set aside to cool.
2 Put the nuts in a food processor or blender with the rest of the ingredients, then whizz until smooth. Serve with tortilla chips.
This Deep South dip couldn't be easier to make. It's lovely with raw carrots, celery and radishes, but we've included our favourite fried okra recipe, if you fancy a bit of indulgence. Dip recipe from The Lee Brothers Southern Cookbook (WW Norton)
Serves 6-8 180ml buttermilk 75g sour cream or creme fraiche 5 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice (from 3–4 limes) 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 1 tbsp honey 2 tbsp basil, finely chopped 2 tbsp spring onions, finely chopped 2 tbsp flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped ¾ tsp salt, plus more to taste
For the fried okra 1 litre vegetable oil, for frying 60g fine polenta 120g flour Salt and black pepper ½ tsp cayenne pepper 1 tsp celery salt (optional) 750g okra 120ml buttermilk
1 First, make the buttermilk dip. In a small bowl, whisk the ingredients together until thoroughly combined. Cover and chill.
2 To make the okra, heat the oil in a large saucepan to 180C/350F, or until a breadcrumb turns golden after 30 seconds.
3 Mix the polenta, flour, salt, pepper, cayenne and celery salt in a mixing bowl.
4 Pour the buttermilk into a separate bowl, dip in the okra, shake off the excess then roll each one in the flour mixture, so every ball is evenly coated.
5 Cook the okra in the hot oil, frying for 3-4 minutes, until golden. Drain on kitchen paper, then serve with the buttermilk dip.