Food & drink

James St Recipes: Niall McKenna's top tips for your New Year's Eve dips

Niall McKenna's dips for New Year's Eve include: olive and lemon butter dip for toast; beetroot dip for flatbreads; and dukkah and spiced pumpkin dip for crudities
Niall McKenna

THIS weekend is one of the best times of the year for entertaining, as we count down to the new year with family and friends.

Whether you're hosting the New Year's Eve celebrations for the first time or you're looking for new ideas on what to serve guests, I have shared some my current favourite crudités and dips which you can make at home.

This week's recipes are very easy to prepare and taste so much better than store bought alternatives. It is also a great way to get some vegetables into your diet after a season of indulging in chocolate, cheese and wine...

Whether you're interested in learning basic cooking skills or looking to up-skill in the kitchen, this January, we have a range of classes available for all abilities at Waterman Cookery School.

For more information or to book classes, visit




125g butter,

2tbsp lemon juice

150g of green olives, chopped


To start, soften the butter using an electric mixer and add in the lemon juice. When the butter is soft and becomes pale in colour, it should look light and creamy.

Next, add in the chopped olives and mix well. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve with toast.



250g beetroot, cooked and peeled

1 clove of garlic, chopped

3tbsp of Greek yoghurt

Olive oil


Place the beetroot in a food processor and pulse, then add in the garlic clove until the mix resembles a puree-like consistency.

Next, add the Greek yoghurt; the mix should become smooth.

Season with salt and pepper.

Place in a bowl to serve and drizzle with olive oil. This is best served with warmed flat breads.



50g of blanched hazelnuts

2tbsp sesame seeds

1tbsp coriander seeds

1tbsp Cumin seeds

1 pinch of black peppercorns

1tsp fennel seeds

1tsp dried mint


To start, place the nuts in a frying pan and roast until warmed through.

Add the hazelnuts into a food processor.

Toast the sesame seeds, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, black peppercorns and fennel seeds for one minute.

Toss gently and remove from the heat.

Next, add all ingredients to a food processor with the mint and blitz until the mixture resembles a coarse texture. Add in a glug of olive oil to bind the ingredients together and serve.

This is best served with flat breads and crackers.



1kg butternut squash, peeled and topped

1tbsp mascarpone

2tbsp hot chilli sauce

1 sprig of chives, chopped


To start, cook a kilo of butternut squash for 45 minutes in the oven at 180C until tender.

Once cooked, scrape away the flesh from the skin and place into a food processor. Pulse until the squash becomes a pulp.

Next, add in the mascarpone and hot chilli sauce and season to taste.

Serve in a bowl with chopped chives.

This is great when served with carrot sticks, radishes and fennel crudités.

Food & drink