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

Friends. Sun. Food. Wine.


I’m not the kind of a person who could settle down. Ever. But as it happens I’ve been in Ljubljana for some time now.  It’s a phase. I’ve got things to finish here. I actually never imagined living here, but since I’m here I want to get the best out of it. Ljubljana has changed a lot since I first came.  It has a small but lively cultural scene. And I love how close everything is around here. An hour of ride and you’ll find yourself in a completely different scenery, with completely different traditions and of course, food.

What I’ve noticed is that in recent years food culture in Slovenia has changed a lot. To better. And it was about time. It’s also thanks to the projects like Restaurant week. So, me and my girls decided to test it out and we set off to the western part of Slovenia and the coast.

brdaOur first stop was at Goriška Brda. It’s one of my favourite regions. Really charming in the summer when all you see are hillsides covered in vines and old villages making you feel like you were in some other time and place. And in the spring, there’s nothing better to escape from Ljubljana and indulge the sun and the flowering trees.

The reason we came to Brda was the Restaurant week. We were off to see and taste what’s cookin at Kabaj’s. As I think to it now, their menu was great. Local cheese, tipical egg omlets, greens, really good quality oils. You could actually taste spring. There was something in their dishes reminding me  it still gets fresh in the night, but at the same time the nature is awaking and warming up the soil. Fresh ingredients prepared in the local manner and some excellent Pinot Blanc, 2010. I couldn’t imagine anything ealse to pair with my vegetarian menu. I definitely have to return to try their other wines.

We stayed at a lovely family run estate called Kmetija Šibav. The hospitality and generosity of our host trully was unprecedented, and the experience we’ve got was really something we did not expect. They made us a really interesting presentation of their wines. The appartment was great and in the morning we were woken up by the brightes sun and the most beautiful view I could imagine. They made us a generous and delicious breakfast full of homemade goodies and we were good to set off to new adventures. We left with warmth in our hearts, smile on our faces and a car packed with gifts from our hosts. And of course, lovely homegrown lemons, that were later used for the most perfect Easter braid.

We did a tour around Brda, walking in between vines and exploring old villages. Trying to find a spot to rest and enjoy the sun, we were advised to turn to Dvor. At first it looked really, but really, fancy. But it turned out to be more peaceful and relaxed than we could ever imagine. An oasis. A small family run butique hotel that has reacently opened. As I understood, they were buying and renovationg old houses for the last three years. I really wish them all the best, because they did a great job! So, we orderd some house wine and snacks. And oh boy… they make their own olive oil and serve it with a special spice mixture. We literally devoured the bread by dipping it into olive oil and the spices. TOP!

We left in the afternoon, slowly cruising down between the hills, just as the sun, heading towards the sea. We arrived in Izola just in time to see the sun disappear on the horizon.

We had dinner at hotel Marina, as part of a Restaurant week. I must admit, there were some pretty amazing dishes, at least as starters concerned and their dessert was delicieux. The next morning we walked down the beach, went for an ice cream and headed towards home.

Before returning, there was one last stop to make. We were on our way to Kras. A world apart. We stopped at Brestovica, where every year there is an Asparagus festival. The locals pick up wild asparagus that grow in the region and than prepare typical dishes, one of the most known being frtalja. It’s basically big egg omelette with wild asparagus and pieces of pancetta or prosciutto.

We left towards home tired and happy, full of great memories and determined to start making plans for a new trip very soon.

And I’m leaving you with a recipe to make this delicious frtalja, dreaming of sun, spring and all the fun yet to come!

Frtalja with wild asparagus

  • 3 eggs
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 3 Tbsp milk
  • wild asparagus (don’t be stingy!)
  • pancetta cubes (optioonal)
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 – 2 Tbsp olive oil

* You can also make frtalja by using eggs only, without adding flour or milk. And you can add some fresh herbs to the batter too.


  1. Whisk together eggs, flour, milk and salt. Set aside.
  2. Clean asparagus – remove the woody bottom parts. Cut into bigger pieces.
  3. Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add asparagus and pancetta and stir fry for a minute or two.
  4. Add egg batter. You should make a big thick omelette. Bake until golden brown on both sides.
  5. Cut in triangles and season with pepper.