Hot in the city…

London has a mini heatwave. It does not happen often but yes it’s here and it is basically all we can talk about.  Heatwaves are fun if you are lying by a pool in say Majorca, but driving back and forth to your local recycling centre in the heat is not. I am hot and bothered.

Thankfully I had a stash of grilled vegetables ready from the night before’s BBQ. I have a habit of grilling any veg I can find while we are waiting for the coals  to burn down. Some with success, peppers, courgette and aubergine, and some without success, broccolini – resembles eating sticks.

I had a can of smoked mussels hanging about in the larder. I love retro dips, and this is a classic, if you are dubious about the mixture of mascarpone and yogurt, you should be but please try it. My mom went through a serious retro stage. Blue cheese went into almost everything. quiche, dips, salad dressings and even a sauce for steak ‘lighten’ by cream. Hopefully this dip is a bit lighter but the colour makes up for what it might me lacking in calories. The smokiness of the dip compliments the cold grilled vegetables beautifully and the cold Burrata is soothing on a hot summers day. The pepperiness of the cauliflower and radishes works well with the smoked beetroot dip.


  • 50g stale crustless white bread
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • one can of smoked mussels, drained, keep the oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 75g mascarpone cheese
  • 50g greek yogurt
  • 1 or 2 small cooked beetroot (about 100g)


  1. Put the bread into a shallow bowl and squeeze over the lemon juice, leave to soften
  2. In a food processor, place smoked mussel along with the garlic, cheese and yogurt. Roughly chop the beetroot a, tear the bread into pieces and place in bowl, whiz until completely smooth. At this stage you can add some of the smoked mussel oil and whizz till the desired consistency remembering that vegetables should easily be able to dip into the dip
  3. Adjust seasoning adding a little more lemon juice if necessary

This dip will also be great with toasted rye bread or cool baby new potatoes with dill .


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