BBQing in Dubai in May can be quite a torture. Over the the last week, summer has finally arrived and blesses us now with 40C during the day, and not much less than 30C during the night. You want to know what’s the safest sign that summer has come? You can switch off the geezers, as the water coming from the cold tap is hot enough to have a hot bath.

Nevertheless, we decided to use our garden (probably for the last time before October) and invite a few friends over for foods and drinks and chats and laugh. Dubai is as multi-cultural as can be, and our friends happen to come from Japan, England, Serbia South Africa, Germany and Portugal, to name just a few. Instead of throwing on the BBQ grill, we’ll have multicultural tapas-style bits and bites: hummus and other dips, crackers, breads, and poppadums (my latest gluten/grain free addiction), parma-wrapped pieces of melon, sushi and sashimi, some Mediterranean salads. Perhaps I will make a frittata. And for dessert we’ll have a very international chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream.

Todays’s recipe is a dip that I had at a Lebanese restaurant recently. The base was sun dried tomatoes and the crunch came from finely chopped nuts.  A lovely mezze dish, that can be eaten with crackers, breads or veggie sticks. I kept it simple by adding some fresh basil from my garden only. But I can even imagine it with some olives or capers. I love the chunkiness of this dip, but it can easily be blended to a fine smooth paste, bursting with flavors either way. Enjoy!


1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes
1/2 cup boiling water
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup raw almonds
1/4 to 1/2 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
chili flakes (optional)
Serves 6-8

Pour boiling water over the sun dried tomatoes and let stand for at least 15 minutes. Drain well.

In a food processor, combine rehydrated sun dried tomatoes, basil and about 1-4 cup of olive. Pulse until smooth. Add almonds and pulse until finely chopped. Add more olive oil until the mixture reaches desired consistency. Season with salt, pepper, and chili flakes.
Keep in airtight container in the refrigerator.


  1. Looks delish, I’m thinking Marcona Almonds would be lovely in this dip.

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