Onion, Garlic and Basil Dip

Serves: n/a
Cost: ~€1.80
Preparation time: ~10 minutes
Calories: ~820 for the whole bowl

Greetings everyone, I hope you’re all well. I’d love to say that everything is calm and normal but – well… that’s a little difficult when you have a young child. This is actually the first recipe post I’ve written in a month or so. I do feel ever so out of practice so I hope you won’t judge me too harshly if I make any errors. I’d like to first tell people about something my wife found for me the other day. I’d never heard of Coursera, but they have a whole load of courses which they make available for people to take for free. They have a course starting soon called “The Science of Gastronomy” which looks absolutely fascinating, so if you have a couple of hours spare per week, and love experimenting in the kitchen, I would urge you to sign up and give it a go yourself! Moving on, my post announcing the birth of my son was rather shy on details so I thought I’d tell you a little more here about the day and my subsequent paternity leave.

Saturday the 18th was a day like many others. Naturally, my wife was pregnant, but you get so accustomed to the state of “pregnancy” that you can’t quite believe the labour when it starts. We’d had some friends over on Saturday night and after driving them back home we stopped by the nearby lake around 11pm. Being Saturday night, there was a firework display at the Château of Versailles. We sat on a bench by the lake in the warm night air and enjoyed the beautiful fireworks for a while before heading home. My wife went to bed and I proceeded to then laze about on the couch – reading the news, checking up on blogs, maybe replying to some comments here. Finally, around 3am I thought I should be going to bed. My wife said “are you tired?”. “Oh yes”, I said, “I’m going to go to sleep now”. My wife went off somewhere and about 10 minutes later she calls to me. Yup – this is it. It’s time to go to the hospital :).

Off we go into the night, me still feeling a little incredulous, and then 12 hours later little William made his appearance. I went to work briefly the next day to set up the dates for my paternity leave and vacation which I took. I had four weeks off in total and was so glad that I did. I wouldn’t want to have missed these first precious weeks and they have given me memories I will treasure for always. We’ve taken some lovely trips as a family, including a trip to the museum of Port-Royal – the location of our picnic some weeks ago.

Musée Nationale de Port-Royal

The grounds are absolutely beautiful – small ponds, beautiful trees and a great feeling of peace. We went on a weekday and the place was deserted! Driving past the museum on a weekend, you can see the driveway and car park completely filled with cars, so I definitely would recommend a visit here during the week to avoid the crowds.

Abbey Ruins

Down in the valley below the site of the museum you can see the abbey ruins. Accessible from here by one hundred steps down the hill, or from the other side of the valley if you drive around there.

Le Verger

To one side of the museum is an orchard with many, many different varieties of apple and pear trees – many, if not all, of these can never be found in stores. There’s even a variety of apple I saw called “Roasted Cat” (Chat Rôti). Back to work now though, and with it, a return to cooking. I figure there’s never too young an age to introduce my new sous-chef to the kitchen, so he accompanies me on some of my safer kitchen activities at the moment.

New Sous-chef

For today’s recipe I’m going to post a very easy dip which I’ve been making for years. I used to buy tiny pots of over-priced garlic and onion dip for my potato chips and eventually decided to make it myself. I’ve added to the dish over the years and now find it the perfect addition to a nice bowl of potato or tortilla chips. Ideal for a movie evening or a party.

Onion, Garlic and Basil Dip

I hope you decide to give it a try. I’ll be back in a few days with, in fact, another wonderful guest post. I will be able to get started with my video recipes again soon too. Have a great day everyone!

Onion, Garlic and Basil Dip


Onion, Garlic and Basil Dip ingredients

  • ~250ml Crème Fraîche
  • 60g Cheddar Cheese, grated
  • 2tbsps Mayonnaise
  • 1 Onion
  • 1 handful of fresh Basil
  • ~1 or 2 cloves of Garlic
  • Salt and Pepper


  1. Start off by mixing the grated cheese, crème fraîche and mayonnaise in a bowl until well blended.
    Mixing the cheeses and mayo
  2. Peel the onion and garlic. Mince the garlic and finely chop the onion. Chop the basil very finely and then mix all three into the bowl with the crème fraîche.
    Chopping the onion, garlic and basil
  3. Mix everything well. Season to taste with salt and pepper and allow to firm up in the refrigerator for an hour or so before enjoying with some chips of your choice!
    Onion, Garlic and Basil Dip

    Onion, Garlic and Basil Dip


  1. says

    I can only imagine the excitment you and your wife had that night! And how lovely that it happened relatively quickly, I’ve had friends who had labour for 2-4 days, quite painful I understand.
    This is a delicious recipe I know I would love. We’re sitting at CDG waiting for our flight to be called. Thank goodness for free wifi.

    • says

      Hi Eva – eesh, 2-4 days… I can’t imagine it. Poor women! Thanks for your email – I’ll be writing back shortly… so lovely to see you and glad you had a safe trip back :)

  2. says

    What an adventure! :)
    I’m sorry but I’d have to say the pic of you and son with the kitchen gadgets totally took my attention away from the others. That’s adorable!

    • says

      Haha, thanks Ping. So if I ever make something which looks absolutely terrible, I can just put the baby in the photo and it will be improved 100%? 😀

  3. says

    Roasted cat apples? Hmmm, hope that one tastes better than it sounds. So nice to see that you are already going on family outings. I recognize that beautiful estate at Port Royal from one of your pictures of you and William — the grounds look absolutely stunning. My eldest ponytail of course can read now and noted that the chip dip at a friend’s house was called “helluva good dip.” Now she asks for it by name. Maybe if I make this for her, she’ll forget about “that other dip” and ask for this one. (wouldn’t that be nice?) I don’t buy chips often so they go crazy for them — especially with dip. Nice to see William in the kitchen with you. I baked many a cookie with one of those baby bjorns strapped on! All the best to you and the family!

    • says

      Hi Barb – no doubt the apple is better – probably quite nice, although it’s not a variety I’ve ever seen in stores… maybe it’s unique to this place. I’ve gotta say, damn if those baby slings aren’t uncomfortable on the back. There’s another brand I think, called “Ergo” or something like that, which has a supportive strap around the back. Would be much better for me… especially since “little” William is fast becoming not very little at all!!

  4. says

    LOL who could pay attention to the dip recipe after that photo of you and the baby?? I’m still laughing.

    Oh and about that 100 step down to the ruins. That’s all well and good but it’s the 100 steps back up that get my attention.

    Now to go back and read the recipe :)

    • says

      Hehe, thanks Maureen. The 100 steps… yeah, we actually stayed in the top part, by the museum, and visited the ruins down below another day (and drove around by car then), so no steps for us 😀

  5. says

    What a cute photo, Charles! I imagine you are already training him as your sous-chef 😉 I love the idea of this dip. It seems so easy, but delicious and perfect for the autumn. I still wish I could taste raw milk cheddar one day… This is one of the obligatory items on my list when I go to UK next time (yes, I dream of more trips now! I haven’t travelled anywhere apart from France for such a long time I have already forgotten what pleasure it is!).

    • says

      Thank you Sissi – if/when you’re in the UK, try and get a “truckle” of cheese. They’re so cute… little barrel-shaped cheeses, usually covered in a thick coating of wax. I know France likes to think it’s the cheese capital of the world but seriously, I do love some English cheeses too… we have some wonderful stuff there.

  6. says

    So many things to comment on in this post. :) You and baby snuggly = adorable. Museum and abbey ruins = charming. Onion and garlic dip = delicious and fattening so must be avoided though I wonder how the caramalized onions I still have in my freezer would work in there.

    • says

      Hi A_ – not too fattening… you can used reduced fat creme fraiche, light mayo (you could even skip that, but I think it gives a slightly fatty flavour to the dip which is missing otherwise) – and plus it’s good as a treat sometimes 😉

      Caramelised onions would no doubt be awesome in this!

  7. says

    How lovely to be able to take four weeks off to be with your wife and William during this very special time. My husband, being self-employed, was only ever able to take one or two days leave. It would have been so nice to have him home. Onion dip is my favourite and it’s so good to just open a packet of chips and sit in front of the TV and relax with a movie, chips and dip. I don’t know why I’ve never made my own dip. This must be so nice made with creme fraiche xx

    • says

      Hi Charlie. Only 1 or 2 days? :( That’s such a bummer… but props to you… now I know how hard it can be, and how hard my wife has to work during the day when I’m not there to give her assistance… I can just imagine how tiring it must have been for you sometimes. But then they smile up at you and you know it’s all worth it :)

  8. says

    You two are so cute in your kitchen! :) The chef is never too young to start “cooking”, you are right. I just finished reading the book “The Apprentice: My Life in the Kitchen” by Jacques Pepin, and he introduced his daughter to the cooking even before she started to walk! Here is a small quote from this book: “Stirring something in a pot or mixing a vinaigrette, I lifted her up, and she removed the lid, smelled what was cooking, gave her opinion, then tasted it or poked it a few times with a whisk or spoon”. It was very cute to imagine that… :)
    Thanks for the recipe, I shell make it. Best wishes to your wife and little William! :)

    • says

      Hi Marina – that sounds like a wonderful book… thank you so much for the (very, very apt) quote! It’s precisely the sort of idea I want to instil in William, so he doesn’t grow up thinking pasta with ketchup is an acceptable thing to eat for dinner seven days a week!!

  9. says

    Oh yes, you definitiely win the cute photo of the week prize – well, thanks to William that is! Thanks for sharing the story of his arrival, how lovely. Great dip too – I´m not a chocolate girl but present me with a bowl of dip and a big bag of crisps and I turn into Neanderthal Woman!

  10. says

    I have to pin you in Bjorn! Just kidding – I won’t do it. 😉 That’s how I used to cook having two kids. Oh so glad those days are over! I had fun time but my back was killing me. After all I’m not as strong as you! 😉 I bet you are already a pro at holding baby in one arm and a frying pan in the other hand! Nice dip recipe and I love to give it a try one day!

    • says

      Hi Nami, haha 😀 I know what you mean though… damn if it doesn’t hurt my back! There’s another brand apparently, called “Ergo” or something, which has a supporting back strap to reduce back pain. Next time we’ll go for something like that I think!

  11. says

    lol… love the photo of you and baby! 😀
    I’m SO glad you’ve posted this dip recipe, because dips Down Under are so ridiculously expensive, too… this looks so mouthwatering, I’ll be sure to make it one day :) and soon, I hope :)

    • says

      Hi Fati – some people don’t agree with the addition of cheese… personally I love it, but my wife is on the fence about the idea. If you made it I’d definitely give it a try without cheese first and add it after if you feel it needs it!

  12. says

    haha little sous chef. What a cute little dumpling!
    Apparently I was in Versailles when I was less then a year old, of course I cant remember that. I wish I could go there with my husband, I like to teach him history and and show him castles etc from the old times. Looking at your picture, I d love to spend as much time as possible there, its so pretty.

    Nom, I love this kind of dip. Especially with fries and nuggets. ^.^

    • says

      Hi Helene – There’s some beautiful sights in, and around, Versailles. I feel lucky to live here right now, although sometimes I wish I would get out and about and see it more!

  13. says

    Charles, I think it’s wonderful that you’re making the most of this precious time in your lives… you’re very wise, as it won’t come again and, I dare say, your life will never be calm and ‘normal’ again (sorry for the spoiler alert ;-)). It’s a pretty great kind of different though, isn’t it? When I first saw the photo of you & William with the pot, I thought you were drumming for him as a way of calming the little man… not a bad idea should it ever be needed ;-). GORgeous photos Charles… the museum, the abbey ruins, the enormity and beauty of the grounds, the dramatic sky; it just takes your breath away.

    • says

      Hi Kelly – it’s a wonderful kind of different, although I’m looking forward to the day when we can get a baby-sitter, go out for dinner or a movie and have a bit of “us time”. It’s a 24/7 job, especially for my poor wife! I never tried drumming for him, haha, thanks for the tip 😀

      The abbey grounds are wonderful… we finally got down to the ruins themselves and noticed that they have a goat and a donkey, just wandering around. The donkey follows children around and just kind of stands there… very docile and cute. The goat is a bit more boisterous and kind of herds people into the wall with his horns 😀

  14. says

    I love all of your pictures, but my favorite is the one of you and little William! You are such a cute father!! Thanks for sharing the evening of his birth with us. It’s fabulous that you’ve been able to spend these first few weeks with William and your wife. Now for the dip – WOW! What an easy and delicious dip! I will definitely be making this one!

    • says

      Thank you MJ – I’ll say that it’s hard to come back to work after 4 weeks off… whee, but I can appreciate the time with my little guy extra much in the evenings and weekends now!

  15. says

    Posted a omment moment ago but not sure what happened. If this appears twice please delete one. Thanks.
    Beautiful and peaceful scenery. Nice that you were able to get 4 weeks off from work to help your wife and bond with the little one. I too adore the photo of you and William in the kitchen, so precious.

    • says

      Hi Norma – not sure what happened, but only one comment appeared, so don’t worry! The scenery at the abbey and museum is amazing – and it’s SO quiet there during the week… Hardly anyone there at all!

  16. says

    I bet there are some amazing smells that wafts up to babies nose as he slumbers and dreams (inevitably) about food…I salute you for training a future foodie sir! And what a great dip—you just can’t buy this stuff out of a jar =D

    • says

      Hi Angie – definitely. I guess they’re probably more interested in milk in the earliest days, but over time, let’s hope he grows to adore the smell of cumin and cinnamon, like his daddy 😀

  17. says

    Love the photo of you and William! That is too awesome! I’m sure he’s going to be a great little sous chef. Makes me miss when my little guys were babies. I love the photos of the museum. The grounds look like they’d be a great place for a walk. As for the dip…the basil is a fantastic addition! It sounds delicious. :)

    • says

      Hi Kristy, thanks for your kind comment! It’s a bit tough with a baby strapped on your front sometimes, haha – you really need to be careful when opening cupboard doors because there’s so much less clearance in front of you!

  18. says

    Congratulations Charles!!! Cute pic of the little one and you with the s.pan:)
    Paternal duties eh?? It is worth all the sleepless nights and diaper shifts… but can be very very exhausting….. Good luck.
    That dip is one I would die for..onions, garlic and basil dip sounds dreamy with chips.

    • says

      Thank you Malli! It’s very tiring sometimes! My word… I don’t even have much of a problem sleeping to be honest, but maybe I’m subconsciously sleeping more lightly, or waking up some during the night without remembering it… I seem to feel tired all the time :(

  19. says

    Oh, I love the photo of you with your sous chef…you’re such a great dad already! What a gorgeous museum setting…and how wonderful that you can tell your son you were watching fireworks over Versailles the night before he was born. Loving the dip, too…I’m pinning it so I can find it when I need to make a quick munchie :)

    • says

      Thank you Liz :) It was a wonderful way to begin his life… sitting by the lake in the warm summer air with the fireworks in the distance… so apt!

  20. says

    LOL! Charles! I am loving the shot of you with the baby in the carrier and the pots and pans! That is exactly how I cooked for 6 months when I had my second boy this year! too funny and that dip looks fantastic!

  21. says

    Everybody has a “labour” story but yours is so romantic! That will always be a special memory.
    Love the picture of you and little William. Too cute.
    As for the dip, yum. So easy and delicious. I don’t make enough dips, I like them, but don’t make them. I should start…but that means eating more chips…

    • says

      Hi Nazneen – it was a wonderful way to start little William’s life… although naturally it would have been even better if I’d had a bit of sleep before 😀

      Eating more chips? Nothing wrong with that 😀

    • says

      Thanks Marta – I’m hoping that by bringing him into the kitchen he’ll develop the same obsession for certain ingredients that I have! Cumin, olive oil… yum!

  22. says

    I realized my comment didn’t post, must have something to do w/ my almost 3 year that likes to climb on me while in front of the computer. The picture of you with William is adorable! We all don’t judge you for not posting, acutally you’ve been pretty consistent with filling in the gaps with guest posts! If you ever need a guest post I’d love to help out in any way. :)

    Simple quick and flavorful dips are perfect, esp. if you are having visitors and don’t feel like being in the kitchen.

    • says

      Thanks so much Lisa – it’s so kind of you to offer! I’m actually pretty good now… slowly settling into a rhythm and also very eager to get back to cooking more regularly, but I’ll hold you to that offer one day maybe 😀

  23. says

    What a great labor story and I’m glad it went as quickly as it did. So happy to hear that Mr. William is doing well and that he’s getting kitchen training early in life! Since dips, chips and cookies are my weaknesses, I am, of course, thrilled with this great looking dip and will add it to the party mix. The museum at Port Royal looks like a magnificent place for a daytime adventure and the surrounding scenery with the abbey ruins is stunning. What a fun day that must have been!

    • says

      Hi Betsy – it’s a beautiful place, the abbey. As we went during the week, and not on the weekend, it was really like stepping back in time a little when wandering aruond. Not a soul to be seen.

      I know how you feel about chips and dips… major weakness for me too – that’s why we don’t tend to have such dips too often 😀

  24. says

    Those are some beautiful photos!!! I’d do anything to have picnics with scenery like that in the background.

    Loveee that photo of you with the baby haha, must be hard work to cook with the baby sitting there. 😛

    • says

      Thanks Jenny! It’s ok, it’s manageable, but it’s a little difficult, it’s true. You just have to be careful when bending down to get something, or opening cupboard doors etc, as you don’t have so much “clearance” between you and the door anymore, haha!

  25. says

    Awwww… it won’t be long before little William is sitting ‘neath you on the kitchen floor banging that wooden spoon on your pot!! Thanks for the quick recipe.. I’m hoping you do a series of these being a new Dad and all.. and me being a working girl again:D

    • says

      Hi Barb – haha, yeah, indeed not! Although as much as I love him, he doesn’t get to bang on this pan! Well, maybe with a wooden spoon it’s ok, but it’s one of three copper pans I have which cost a lot so I have to keep them away from naughty little fingers which might scratch metal spoons down them or something! 😀

  26. says

    What a sweet post :) You will never forget the day your child is born and it is wonderful that you were able to take 4 weeks off to be there with him and with your wife.
    I loved the picture of your little sous chef in action
    The dip sounds amazing Charles, I am sure a million times better than the stuff full of preservatives and artificial flavors they sell at the store

    • says

      Thank you Sawsan – I can’t wait until he’ll be old enough to really help me out in the kitchen… although I don’t want to wish away his entire childhood of course!

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