Dill & Walnut Tarator Sauce

When I posted about growing dill last week I had a deluge of responses from people who suggested they didn’t eat dill because they didn’t like or eat fish.  Well, actually 2 (very nice) people said that but many more may have been thinking it……So, to please the multitudes of non fish eaters out there I bring you a vegetarian (and a not so vegetarian) use for dill.

I had a lot of trouble photographing this dish as my almost 2 year old son insisted on trying to eat it as I photographed it.  This resulted in a very messy face, a very messy tablecloth, some very well licked cauliflower and the need to edit all kinds of detritus out of the shots.  Still I was very happy he liked the sauce…..

I am very partial to nut sauces, especially as they are often a great vehicle for herbs.  Tarator is a fabulous, pesto like sauce which is made throughout the Eastern Mediterranean and the Balkans.  It takes different forms in different places and this particular version is more Turkish in inspiration than anything else.  I have added dill to  what is a basic walnut Tarator recipe.  The result is a kind of dill pesto.  When I first tasted this I didn’t think the dill flavour was strong enough but after a second go I quite enjoyed its subtlety.  I enjoyed it both; as a dressing for poached chicken (which then became a sandwich filling) and as a dipping sauce for some Roast Cauliflower (as shown above).

Dill & Walnut Tarator Sauce

  •  1 cup walnuts – chopped
  • 2 cups chopped dill
  • 1 clove garlic – finely chopped
  • 1 large slice sourdough bread (or any country style bread will do) crust removed
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Soak the bread in the water.  Then place all ingredients including the breads soaking water into a food processor.  Process until smooth.  If you want a thinner sauce then add more water or oil.

Note: To roast Cauliflower  – separate it into florets, coat in olive oil and roast in a 180 degree oven for about 30 minutes (or a bit more) depending on the size of the florets.  Season with salt and pepper.

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3 Responses to Dill & Walnut Tarator Sauce

  1. Mark Willis says:

    That’s more like it! I could probably learn to like that…

  2. shaheen says:

    Well guess what Liz, I found two of your lovely comments from the weekend not in my comments file, but in the spam bin. I was not happy, how can such lovely comments end up there. I am so glad I found them on the apple shortcake and cauliflower dish) and have just posted them. I was afraid you may have thought I had ignored them and I assure you that is not the case.

    Now to your lovely dishes. I have to say I have never had Tarator sauce and it looks pretty good to me, esp for dipping lovely roasted cauliflower – one of my fave ways to eat this veg. I have to say though, I’ve not been that good at growing dill. I will try again next year, when I hope to have more growing space.

    • Liz says:

      Thanks Shaheen – I did wonder about the comments but then I decided that the problem was at my end. I think because I self host Blogger sites are sometimes a bit suspcious of me…..thanks for making me aware that this happens. I’ll keep an eye on it. I hope you enjoy the Tarator.

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