BBQ season: best dips for roasted veggies

namazi-4Last weekend was the official barbecue season opening at our house. And we had a good reason for it. We were celebrating the release of a new album of a band my dad plays at. Demolition group. I was growing up with the band and their music, but never considered them like big stars. They were more of a  family. I think it was not until I’ve grown up (hope my dad won’t be reading this. lol) that I realised how significant actually is what they are doing.

It was a lovely day, we had great time and we ate well.

Usually there’s a lot of meat when you organise a barbecue. Luckily I was not the only vegetarian and there was abandonce of meat free dishes. As far as I’m concerned, the best concept for a barbecue is to follow the mezze principle, as I call it. Small, fresh, colorful sides that accompany the main thing, so that everyone is satisfied, veggie and meat lovers. I was thinking, what would go best with grilled vegetables and came up with these three easy and delicious dips:


Greek yoghurt with lemon, mint and black olive paste 


  • 1 kg greek yoghurt
  • peel of 5 organic lemons
  • 1 – 2 tsp salt
  • mint leaves
  • 80 g black olives
  • 6 Tbsp olive oil

For this recipe you will need a cheesecloth


  1. Drain greek yoghurt: put cheesecloth into a strainer and place over a large bowl into which you will collect excess water from yoghurt. Pour in your greek yoghurt, put into the fridge for at least a day. The longer it drains the firmer it gets.
  2. The next day, mix drained yoghurt with salt and peel of 4 organic lemons.
  3. Mix olives and olive oil and grind into a paste using a mortar or food processor. You can also leave larger pieces of olives.
  4. Put the lemon yoghurt into a larger bowl, garnish with black olive paste. Grate zest of 1 lemon and sprinkle with fresh mint leaves. Sprinkle with olive oil.


Chickpea, roasted red peppers and walnut dip


  • 10 -12 long red peppers
  • 1 can chickpea
  • 2 handfuls of walnuts or pecans
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 6 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 – 2 tsp salt
  • garnish: feta, coriander or parsley leaves, olive oil


  1. Oven roast peppers at 200°C until soft and well grilled. You can also barbecue them. Let cool and remove the skins.
  2. Put skinned peppers, drained chickpeas, walnuts or pecans, garlic, lemon juice, ground coriander and salt into a food processor and mix into a smooth paste.
  3. Garnish with crumbled feta, fresh herbs and sprinkle with olive oil.



White bean and almond butter hummus


  • 1 can white beans
  • 3 big Tbsp almond butter (you can also replace it with 3 handfuls of almonds)
  • 1 small tsp salt
  • 6 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 – 4 Tbsp water
  • ½ garlic clove
  • 1 tsp cumin (Cuminum cyminum) – optional
  • garnish: avocado, olive oil, cranberries or pomegranate, sesame


  1. Make almond butter: you will need at least 400 g almonds. Mix them in a food processor or a blender at highest speed until oils get to separate and grounded almonds turn into a smooth butter. You can substitute almond butter by 3 handfuls of almonds, but the consistency will be less smooth.
  2. Put all the ingredients into a food processor and mix into a smooth paste at the highest speed. Add water according to the thickness you prefer.
  3. Garnish with slices of avocado, pieces of cranberries or pomegranate, sesame and sprinkle with olive oil.



Be good! Enjoy in sunny days!

DG – U tvojim očima

Tarragon, lemon and ricotta braid


The sun right now is absolutely amazing. It actually made me clean up my balcony and this is what I found. A surviver. Tarragon that has successfully made it through another winter.


One of my favourite Easter cakes is tarragon potica, a traditional rolled cake that is similar to gubana or in the end, to babka. It’s usually filled with fresh cheese like ricotta or sour cream, sweetened and mixed with tarragon. I added some homegrown lemons that I was offered at Šibav vinery on my  weekend trip to Goriška Brda. And they were just like pictured: bright, juicy, full of flavour.


  • 500 g wheat flour T400
  • 40 g honey*
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 30 g fresh yeast
  • 80 g softened butter
  • 1,8 – 2,2 dl warm milk*
  • 1 egg + 3 egg yolks
  • 2 Tbsp rum
  • peel of 1 organic lemon
  • egg yolk + 2 Tbsp of milk for brushing


  • 15 g finelly chopped tarragon
  • 2 Tbsp sugar (I used sucralose instead)
  • peel of 2 lemons
  • 1 small egg yolk
  • 3 Tbsp drained ricotta

* The original reipe has 60 g of sugar. The quantity of milk depends largley on the quality of the flour. Plus if using honey, you will need a bit less liquid. Add gradually!


  1. Mix fresh yeast, 50 ml warm milk and one tablespoon of honey. Let double in volume.
  2. In a big bowl combine the two flours and salt.
  3. In a seperate bowl mix softened butter using a hand mixer. Gradually add eggs, rum and lemon peel.
  4. Mix the rest of the milk and the rest of the honey so it dissolves evenly.
  5. Add yeast and egg mixture to the flours. Add milk gradually, not all at once. Mix with wooden spatula. When the ingredients start to combine, start kneading. Flour the working surface. It takes something like 8 – 10 mins for gluten to activate, so you’ll be probably kneading for about 10 mins. The dough should be firm and silky.
  6. Let rise. When doubled in volume, divide in three equal parts and knead once more. Make three rolls and roll them out lenghtwise. Than add some filling in the middle, close up and roll and braid. Let rise once again.
  7. Before baking, brush with mixture of egg yolk and two tablespoons of milk.
  8. Preheat oven at 200°c and place in a baking tray filled with water to create steam. Bake for 10 mins, than lover the temperature to 180°c and bake for another 15 – 20 mins.