Light bites

Posh pâtés and delicious dips

These two simple yet versatile recipes work in so many ways. Perfect for a light lunch or lazy supper, they also make a great addition to a picnic spread, and work equally well as canapés or party nibbles.

Try serving Donald Russell’s pâté with melba toast, hot wholemeal toast, crusty bread or thick Scottish oatcakes for a speedy snack. Riverford’s Moroccan aubergine and tomato dip works just as well with warm pitta breads, if you don’t have time to make the flatbreads.

Smoked peppered mackerel pâté

Serves 4

Smoked peppered mackerel pâté


  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 chilli pepper
  • 2 tsp horseradish


Remove the flesh from the smoked peppered mackerel fillets, and place in a food processor. Add the cheese, lemon juice and zest, and horseradish.

Blend until the pâté has reached your desired consistency – tasting and adjusting the seasoning as required.

Empty onto a serving platter and garnish with watercress, or spoon into individual pots.

Member savings

Buy eight smoked peppered mackerel fillets for £18 from Donald Russell

Virgin Wines recommends the Pierre Chainier 1749 Selection Sauvignon Blanc 2012 – its bright, crisp and lively notes cut through the creaminess of the pâté perfectly. This wine is available in the AA Summer Essentials Mixed Selection – AA members save more than £64.

Zaalouk (Moroccan aubergine and tomato dip) with yogurt and herb flatbreads

Serves 4–6

Zaalouk (Moroccan aubergine and tomato dip) with yogurt and herb flatbreads



For the flatbreads:

  • 150g strong white or wholemeal flour, or half and half
  • 1 heaped tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 150g plain whole yogurt
  • 2 tbsp chopped coriander
  • 1 tbsp chopped mint
  • Oil and butter for frying

For the dip:

  • 1 very large or 2 small aubergines
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 2 large cloves garlic, crushed
  • 5 tomatoes, peeled, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 1–2 tsp harissa (add to taste)
  • Handful chopped fresh parsley
  • Handful chopped fresh coriander
  • Juice of 1 lemon

To peel the tomatoes, cut a small cross in one end. Put in a bowl of boiling water for 45 seconds, then remove, plunge into cold water, and peel off the skins.


To make the flatbread dough: Put all the ingredients in a bowl and bring together with your hands. Knead for 1 minute, to form a dough. Shape into a ball, cover, and put in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

To make the dip: Cut the aubergine in half lengthways and cut criss-cross slashes into the flesh. Drizzle over a little olive oil and roast at 200°C until very soft – approximately 45 minutes. You might need to add more oil as it cooks.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a frying pan. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute – don’t let it burn. Add the tomatoes, sugar, harissa and three quarters of the herbs. Cook on a low heat for 15 minutes, to make a thick sauce.

Scoop the flesh out of the aubergine and mash lightly with a fork. Stir the lemon and mashed aubergine into the tomato sauce. Season to taste.

Simmer for 5 minutes, then leave to cool and serve at room temperature, scattered with the rest of the herbs.

To cook the flatbreads: Divide the chilled dough into 8 pieces, and roll them into balls. Flatten with your hands to approx 2–3mm thick. Heat a little of the butter and oil in a large frying pan.

Fry the flatbreads in batches for 2 minutes on each side, until golden. Keep warm in a low oven.

Member savings

Virgin Wines recommends the Araldica Piemonte Barbera 2011 – although easy to drink, it has bags of flavour, and makes the perfect match for the tasty Moroccan dip. This wine is available in the AA Summer Mixed WineBank Welcome Case – AA members save over 50%.

Place a regular order with Riverford Organics and receive a free Riverford Farm cookbook, worth £16.99.

Full details

(22 November 2013)