Manchego and Sun-Dried Tomato Dip with Quinoa Poppy Twists


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

The Quinoa Cookbook

The Quinoa Cookbook

By Penny Doyle

Published 2013

  • About

Cooked quinoa blends beautifully in this deeply flavoured Spanish-style dip, which with its abundant tomatoes and wonderful fresh basil will bring back happy memories of summer sun. Quick and very easy to make, this dip is ideal served with tasty pastry twists, made with quinoa flour, for pre-dinner snacks or picnics.


For the poppy twists

  • 175 g/6 oz/ cups quinoa flour
  • 50 g/2 oz/½ cup plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 60 ml/4 tbsp cup poppy seeds
  • 10 ml/2 tsp mixed dried herbs
  • 2.5 ml/½ tsp salt
  • 75 ml/ fl oz/ cup olive oil
  • 150 ml/¼ pint/ cup cold water
  • ground black pepper, to taste
  • milk, to glaze

For the dip

  • 75 g/3 oz/scant ½ cup cream cheese
  • 30 ml/2 tbsp grated Manchego cheese
  • 30 ml/2 tbsp sun-dried tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 45 ml/3 tbsp passata (bottled strained tomatoes)
  • 75 g/3 oz/½ cup cooked quinoa
  • a good handful of fresh thyme leaves, roughly chopped, plus some left whole to garnish
  • salt and ground black pepper
  • 15 ml/1 tbsp virgin olive oil, if needed


  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/Gas 5. Line a medium baking sheet with baking parchment.
  2. To make the poppy twists, sift the flours together in a large bowl. Mix in the poppy seeds, herbs and seasoning. Stir in the oil, and then the cold water little by little to form a soft, pliable pastry.
  3. Shape into a disc, wrap in clear film (plastic wrap) and chill for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
  4. Make the dip using a food processor or blender. Process the cream cheese, Manchego cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, passata, cooked quinoa and chopped thyme until smooth. Season to taste and mix in the oil, a little at a time, to loosen, if needed. Transfer to a serving bowl, cover and chill.
  5. On a floured board, roll the pastry into a rough rectangle about 6 x 12 cm/2½ x 4½ in and 1 cm/½ in thick.
  6. Cut the pastry into 12 even strips, then twist each one a couple of times as you transfer them to the prepared baking sheet.
  7. Brush the twists with milk and bake for 15-18 minutes, until golden-brown and crisp. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
  8. Garnish the dip with thyme leaves and a good sprinkling of black pepper, and serve with the poppy twists


For the twists you could use wholemeal (whole-wheat) flour instead of white flour, if you wish, and add 30 ml/2 tbsp finely chopped olives to the pastry mix.

Twists Nutritional Information (3 twists): Energy 364kcal/1524kJ; Protein 9g; Carbohydrate 41g, of which sugars 0g; Fat 28g, of which saturates 6g; Cholesterol 0mg; Calcium 231mg; Fibre 2g; Sodium 308mg.

Dip Nutritional Information: Gluten free Energy 185kcal/767kJ; Protein 4g; Carbohydrate 7g, of which sugars 3g; Fat 16g, of which saturates 8g; Cholesterol 24mg; Calcium 99mg; Fibre 1g; Sodium 142mg.