I really cannot imagine having any of Spice Palace’s beautiful dips and pestos left over – until I remember how the Christmas period is traditionally one of excess, and definitely leftovers of everything. And so I asked Rob Cullinan, one half of the Spice Palace couple, if he had suggestions as to ways of avoiding waste as far as their products go.

I asked the right man: Rob, background in food magazine editing, has loads. ‘The Roasted Pumpkin and Toasted Macadamia (dip) is excellent’, he tells me, ‘stirred through some pasta. It’s very easy.’ He says to heat it up with the pasta and, as all their dips are dairy-free, adding ‘a good sharp cheese too, if that’s to your taste.’ Their best-selling Basil Pesto  – of which they’re currently making vast quantities given it’s the season for basil –  is equally wonderful stirred through pasta, and, Rob tells me, ‘it’s especially good with gnocchi, or plonked on your favourite pizza, in drops.’ Furthermore, it can double as a dip as apparently many customers use it for, as part of a platter.

Rob’s other ideas include sprinkling their Chermoula Spice Blend over pumpkin and sweet potato with lots of olive oil, and baking on very high, for a roast vegetable salad. ‘Throw some rocket over’, adds Rob, ‘some roasted cubed beetroot, and maybe some feta and you’ve got an easy make-ahead-of-time salad.’ Yum

Or, as balm to all the ‘heavy, sugar-rich foods being served up at this time of year’, steaming a massive bunch of greens, adding olive oil, freshly squeezed lime and finishing off with a generous sprinkling of Dukkah.

As for those lovely glass jars which house the dips. ‘We love the feedback we get from customers’ who fill them with treats ‘for their beautiful home-made Christmas gifts.

Spice Palace are at New Brighton every Tuesday from 8 – 11am and at Mullumbimby every Friday from 7 – 11 am.