Damper with spinach dip

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Last weekend, I went to a friend's housewarming party. I had originally planned on bringing a homemade pavlova, which I've never attempted before, but being pregnant, I decided to go with a tried-and-tested dish that wouldn't tax my brain. I decided to bring some oven-roasted tomatoes and damper with spinach dip.

I chose the damper and dip mainly because I knew that most of the guests would either be international students or immigrants, and probably wouldn't have come across it before. When I SMS-ed the friend who invited me to the party and told her I was bringing damper, she replied, "What's damper?"

Which brought me back to the first time Mum brought one home. (Of course, I'm not talking about authentic damper. I'm sure Mum bought her bread from the local bakery--hardly conducive to authentic outback cooking. Pedants need not protest!) She put it in the oven, and when it came out, we feasted on bread and butter with homemade hot chocolate (literally--my aunt made them from the fruit of her own cocoa tree in Manila and sent the chocolate tablets to us) while watching a footy match. Such a simple yet delicious way to laze about on a winter evening.

I remember the first time I was offered damper with dip at a dinner party--I didn't quite know what to do! Here was a round, hollowed out piece of bread filled with a soup-like concoction. I soon learned that it was meant for dipping...and I've loved the idea ever since. The recipe I used for the party was given to me by a friend, who served it as a starter when she had me and Rob over for dinner a few years ago. We found it highly addictive and ended up nibbling on leftovers even after dinner and dessert.

The dish was a success at the dinner party! I've had people asking me for the recipe, and word has it that the leftovers almost resulted in a good-natured duel for doggie bags. Can't really ask for a better compliment than that.

Damper with spinach dip
Note that I used a double recipe for the party.
1 damper (or cob loaf)
1 bunch fresh spinach (or frozen spinach)
1 packet of Spring Vegetable soup
600 ml (approx) sour cream
1 brown onion (or French onion dip)

  1. Steam the spinach until dark and limp, then shred.
  2. Saute the onion.
  3. Cut off the top of the damper and rip out the inside of the loaf.
  4. Put all the bread bits on a tray, and crisp in the oven (220°C) for about 5-10 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, heat the sour cream. Add soup mix, onion and spinach.
  6. Pour hot dip into the hollow damper.
  7. Serve with bread pieces.
Cooking tips
- Lite or low-fat sour cream changes the consistency of the dip.
- If you use French onion dip, don't scrimp. Don't buy Kraft dip--yuck!
- The original recipe included 1 packet of bacon rashers or shaved ham, but I opted for a vegetarian version to ensure most people can eat it. If you use bacon, saute it with the onion.

Unfortunately, I left my camera at home. Since I didn't put the dip and damper together until we were at my friend's place (the dish is best served straight from the oven and stove), I have no pictures to show. You'll just have to make it yourself and see--and taste--for yourself. :-)

5 sips:

Trish said...

Oh thank you for the recipe! I didn't realise how easy and simple it was. I knew it was spinach! It just tasted sooooo fancy! Btw, what soup mix do you use? Is that just those instant soup mixes (Continental, Heinz), or something else? And I thought it had loads of cheese in it... didn't realise it was sour cream!

Special K said...

Trish - I normally use Continental soup mix (the powdered kind, NOT the cup-a-soup). But honestly, I think you can probably go with a no-name brand, and it won't affect the taste too much. And yeah, the recipe is simple. I spent more time buying ingredients than actually making the dish. :-)

jean said...

hi kat :) thanks for sharing this recipe. my husband and i tried it last night for dinner and we both loved it. extremely and dangerously yummy :)

Special K said...

Glad you liked it. It's really good on cold winter nights. :-)

lynne said...

Who wants a cold dip on a freezing cold night while watching the State of Origin. This went down sooooo well.