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Julia's Herb + Olive Oil Crackers With Goat’s Cheese And Lemon Dip

Food

They say you are what you eat… and today we are eating CRACKERS!

Julia Busuttil Nishimura‘s latest recipe is for a DIY crunchy, carb-y vessel upon which to load up your toppings – rye olive oil crackers with herbs, paired here with fresh veggies and a goat’s cheese dip. This the the kind of snack that takes no time to prepare, but will make you seem really fancy and together the next time you can whip them out with friends (after perfecting them in lockdown!). ‘Oh these? I made them myself’, you will exclaim with the same sense of smugness that, until now, has been reserved for homemade sourdough.

Let’s face it… we’re all going a bit crackers… so you may as well be making some!

26th August, 2021

Ingredients for the crackers. Photo – Julia Busuttil Nishimura.

Julia advises to use the highest quality olive oil possible. Photo – Julia Busuttil Nishimura.

Laminating the herbs between the dough. Photo – Julia Busuttil Nishimura.

Crunchy, salty, herby crackers! Photo – Julia Busuttil Nishimura.

The crackers served with a goats cheese and lemon dip. Photo – Julia Busuttil Nishimura.

Fancy crackers! Photo – Julia Busuttil Nishimura.

Julia Busuttil-Nishimura
Thursday 26th August 2021

Making crackers at home is one of the easiest and best things to know how to do in the kitchen. They are so quick to make and use really basic ingredients. Mine are a combination of rye and plain flour, but you can experiment with different flour combinations too. Sometimes I like to add a little more rye than here, but this ratio is a great starting place. You can make them fancy by putting some herbs in between the dough – it looks gorgeous but also tastes really good too. Sometimes I like to make a little seed mix to scatter on the top, along with the sea salt. Some sesame seeds – white and black, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds, add a really nice crunch.

I’ve paired these crackers with a really simple ‘dip’ made from goat’s cheese. It is really so addictive and completely delicious. Just don’t skimp on the olive oil, buy the best you can afford. Serve it all with some radishes and baby carrots and your crunchy, more-ish snack-plate complete. Best eaten outside in the spring sunshine!

Ingredients

(Makes 8-10 huge crackers)

150g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
50g rye flour
5g fine sea salt
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for brushing
100ml warm water
Sage, rosemary and thyme (optional)
Flaky sea salt, to garnish

Goat’s cheese and lemon ‘dip’

150g goat’s cheese
2 tbsp pure cream or natural yoghurt
Zest of a lemon
3tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Thyme, to garnish
Salt and pepper, to season

method

Preheat the oven to 190C. Line two trays with baking paper.

To make the crackers, mix the flours together with the salt in a large bowl or on a workbench. Make a well in the centre and pour in the oil and the water. Mix the flour into the wet ingredients with a fork until you have a shaggy dough then knead briefly until smooth.

Take one quarter of the dough (keeping the remaining covered), and roll out until very thin, around 2 mm in thickness. Use extra flour to avoid the dough sticking, if necessary. You can do this with a rolling pin or with a pasta machine. You can leave the crackers plain, or scatter over some herbs, like sage, rosemary and thyme, then fold the dough in half and roll out again until it is again around 2 mm in thickness. Cut the dough into manageable pieces, so that they can fit on your tray. Drizzle with olive oil and scatter with a little sea flaky sea salt. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes or until very golden. Allow to cool then break up into smaller crackers, to your liking. Repeat with the remaining dough.

For the goat’s cheese, place the cheese in a small bowl and add the cream or yogurt to loosen. Mix well until smooth. Top with lemon zest and drizzle with the olive oil. Scatter over the thyme and season with a little salt and pepper. Serve with the crackers and some fresh vegetables.

What else I’m cooking with…

Anything that is delivered in the Ramarro Farm Vegetable Boxes. Their beautiful radicchio is especially a highlight. Made into a salad with blood oranges and hazelnuts and dressed with a simple vinaigrette. Spring garlic is here too which means pesto!

What else I’m eating…

Sarafian Hummus by the lovely Tom Sarafian, which has just launched. If you ever ate it at Bar Saracen [a now-closed Middle Eastern restaurant in Melbourne], you know just how good it is. Tom uses local chickpeas and olive oil and tahini from Lebanon. I’ve been eating it with flatbread (or try it with these crackers) and pickles!

Click here to download recipe printout!

Click here to download recipe printout!

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