Thursday, 12 July 2012

Lucky Dip

I added a picture to my facebook page the other day that generated far more interest than I expected. Or maybe I should have expected it as a platter of failsafe, dairy, gluten and soy free dips is hard to come by. Yes there was the standard failsafe hommus, but there were three more there.

L-R Parsley pesto dip, caramelised leeks, Cashew cream cheese and hommus

Besides my intolerant son, there was another guest who is lactose intolerant, so the normal cheese platter and something else for the kids was not going to cut it. So I invented and hoped for the best. I still have some cheese left over, but these were demolished.

I bought one of those pesto dip thingys, so wanted to make a failsafe equivalent. Since the only herb available is parsley, that's the one I used. Parsley is still high in salicylates and it is only recommended to have a sprinkle. This is a little more than that, but with three other dips to have there is no need to pig out on that one alone. This recipe only makes a small quantity, as much as you can see in the picture, so that also makes it hard to go overboard.

Parsley Pesto Dip
  • 3 Tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1 long green part of shallot, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp chick nuts (commercial roasted chick peas)
  • 2 Tbsp failsafe oil
  • 1/2 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp citric "lemon" juice
  • salt to taste
  1. Put all ingredients except salt into a mini food processor and blend until a nice dipping consistency.
  2. Taste for salt - add a little at a time.

Caramelised leeks
(this makes a reasonable amount, but it keeps well and is nice with roast meats, on sandwiches or as a condiment for anything, really...)

  •  1 large leek
  • failsafe oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  1. Remove harder green parts of leek and split the leek lengthways, make sure there is no dirt caught in it, rinsing if you need to. Slice finely.
  2. Heat a medium frying pan over medium to low heat and add enough oil to coat the base. 
  3. Add the leeks. Your pan may be very full at this point, don't bother changing pans, it won't stay this way for long.
  4. As they start to heat sprinkle the salt over them to help draw out moisture.
  5. Cook slowly stirring frequently
  6. Add sugar and keep on stirring
  7. They will be slowly reducing and turning a slightly golden colour (with a bit of a green tinge if you had a fair bit of pale green leek). Keep stirring occasionally, making sure they don't dry out and catch on the bottom. If they start to brown or dry out add a small quantity of water.
  8. Once they are gold(ish) and look like a small pile of soggy string (this takes about an hour), they are done. They should be very sweet when you taste them.

Cashew Cream Cheese
There are a lot of recipes floating around the internet for raw cashew cheese, but not one of them is failsafe. They pretty much all contain nutritional yeast which is glutamates, not just a little bit of glutamates, but "you may as well be eating MSG" type glutamates. So that is out. What I have made is probably not even close to tasting like those ones, but it was incredibly good.  My son, who hates nuts, scoffed it and I've had to make more for the week.

The nuts require soaking, so a bit of forethought is needed. I've read that soaking doesn't increase the amine levels in the nuts, but there are a lot of cashews in this one, so moderation may be required for amine responders.

  • 1 1/4 cup raw cashews, covered with cold water and soaked overnight (or for a few hours if that works for you), drained and rinsed.
  • 3 tsp citric "lemon" juice
  • 1 tsp whiskey
  • 1clove of garlic, crushed
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt flakes (if you don't have these use a smaller amount of salt and add to taste at the end)
  • 2 Tbsp rice milk (or water)
  • 2 tsp chopped parsley and chives.
  1. Put all ingredients in a small food processor or blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Taste for seasoning and adjust to taste.
This was particularly good on a cracker with the caramelised leeks.

This was particularly good on a cracker with the caramelised leeks.

I don't actually have a recipe of my own for hommus. I make it to taste every time, sometimes using canned chickpeas, sometimes dried ones. I usually make a huge batch and freeze it in smaller portions as we go through a lot of it. Next time I make it I'll write quantities down.

I served these dips with rice crackers, broken buckwheat crispbreads and mini cracker sized rice cakes. You could also use celery sticks which have been my son's vessel of choice for the cashew cheese this week.


  1. Hi Trishy, thanks so much for these. 1 question though... I always thought parsley was low salicylate. Did it change?

    1. Sorry for the delay... As far as I'm aware, parsley is considered low in standard garnish quantities. As it is a dark green leaf and fairly flavoursome it is thought to actually be higher if eaten in the amount that other veg are.