Not to be missed.
Just a quick post before I grab my bag and fly away to a beautifully rugged Greek island tomorrow morning. Ha! Just thought I’d slip that in there. This simple substitute recipe for hummus came to me in a fit of penny-scraping that was inflicted when my real job decided to cock up the company payroll and leave its employees hanging for money over the bank holiday weekend. Not cool. There were tempers. The knock-on problem was that I was expecting people for supper and had about £7 to feed the four of us. No matter. Salad Club thrift shone through and as I rifled through the market and my cupboards, a few bright sparks of ideas came to mind and so I rustled up the best tasting hummus I’ve ever made. The secret, which I’ve only just discovered since having purchased this, is to have a good blender, by which I don’t mean a hand held whisky thing with blunt blades ploughing up and down through the bowl, but something with some darned good knives in pretty quick rotation. A food processor or mini version is what you want. Rosie and I have been quite slow to modernise our kitchen tools but this is one thing I feel I can’t now do without, if only for the sake of beating together a completely smooth and creamy hummus in under 2 minutes.
Drain a can of butter beans and add to the bowl or food processor with a hearty glug of olive oil, salt flakes, a few mixed pepper corns, the juice of 1/2 lemon, 1 or 2 tablespoons of tahini paste, a scattering of sesame seeds and a palmful of bruised rosemary (best done vigorously with a pestle and mortar to release the flavours). Blitz well and season again with salt, pepper and olive oil to taste. Once plated, drizzle with olive oil and a grating of lemon zest. There’s no need for garlic which is better paired with a tougher, chickpea hummus. The pleasure in this recipe comes from the much softer, subtle flavour of rosemary.
At my pauper’s kitchen supper we chased the last of this round the plate with toasted Holy Land pita (30p a pack from Nour cash & carry, Brixton); a roasted squash, chick pea and chorizo salad with feta and mint and a warm green lentil salad with Dijon vinaigrette and coriander. For pudding, I emptied a pot of tart Greek yogurt into a bowl, covered it with blueberries and hazelnuts and a drizzle of honey. An incredible supper, most especially because the bulk of ingredients were already in my fridge, cupboard and garden. It’s times like these that you thank yourself for having previously lugged home a top-up supply of food tins for the pantry. Hoorah! Being skint doesn’t mean a thing!
And now to Greece: I’ll bring you back a recipe. Please take care of Rosie for me – she’s about to have her baby!