“Among some of my friends, this has become known as ‘The Dip’”, says Alison Roman. “And now I literally cannot attend any social gathering or host any dinner party without someone requesting ‘The Dip’. When you make it, you’ll know why. It’s my very high-brow version of ranch dressing, and that’s all the intel you need. But if you’d like to know more, there is an oniony chilli oil that gets sizzled with coriander (cilantro) stems (or chives) and swirled into thick, lemony labne.
“From there, I’m sure you can assume that the combination of tangy dairy coupled with that herby chilli oil already sounds incredible, and maybe you are on your way to making this right now. If you can find green garlic or garlic shoots (which tend to be hyper seasonal and mostly found only at farmers’ markets), use them in place of the spring onion."
Catch Alison Roman at Stokehouse St Kilda on 20 March as part of Global Dining Series presented by Singapore Airlines.
Makes 2 cups
80ml (1/3 cup) olive oil
4 spring onions (scallions) or green garlic (garlic shoots), white and light green parts thinly sliced
1 tsp chilli flakes
2 tbsp finely chopped coriander (cilantro) or chives, plus extra to garnish
Flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
500gm (2 cups) labne, full-fat Greek-style yoghurt or sour cream
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 Heat the olive oil, spring onion, chilli flakes and coriander in a small pot over medium–low heat. Cook, swirling occasionally, until the spring onion and chilli flakes start to visually and audibly sizzle and frizzle and turn the oil a bright fiery orange. Remove from the heat and leave until cool enough to taste, then season with salt and pepper.
2 Combine the labne and lemon juice in a medium bowl and season with salt and pepper.
3 Spoon into a bowl and swirl in the sizzled spring onion mixture. Garnish with extra coriander, if you like.
Sizzled spring onion oil can be made up to a week ahead, wrapped tightly and refrigerated. Labne can be seasoned 1 week ahead, wrapped tightly and refrigerated. Combine the two just before serving.
This is an edited extract from Nothing Fancy by Alison Roman published by Hardie Grant Books ($45). Available where all good books are sold.
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