Three ways with :: Hummus.

12.01

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Too often, when the time comes to do my weekly food shop, I find myself staring at a blank page headed up with the words ‘Meal plan for week beginning … ‘, thinking, what on earth do I normally cook?

I tend not to cook the same things over and over since I get bored pretty quickly, which, since variety is the spice of life and all, is great! But it also means that I’m often left stumped, since I’ll have cooked 40 different things in the past month and a half, and not written a single one of them down. Not so great! And so, this new little series I’m heading off today on Cider with Rosie, featuring different ways of working with some of my favourite central mealtime ingredients, is as much for me as it is for you. A compendium of my favourite recipes, if you like. I hope you won’t mind about that?

First up, hummus! When I mentioned to my Mum that I was putting together a ‘three ways with hummus’ post, she said ‘like hummus with pita, hummus with carrots, and hummus with cucumber?’ Ha ha Mum. Very funny. ‘No!’ I said! ‘We can do better than that!’. The first recipe is a light one (ideal as a starter, light lunch, or fancy afternoon snack), the second is virtuous and delicious and filling all at once (a dinnertime staple), and the third is the ‘showstopper’- a weekend special!

Before we get to the goods, let’s talk hummus for a moment. I buy it in as often as I make it fresh, and this recipe, by the marvellously talented Molly, is my favourite to use. When buying, I tend to go for the organic stuff, only because I usually find it tastes better. But really, when it comes to hummus, you can’t go too far wrong, can you?

 

 O N E :: Garlic-rubbed toasts with hummus, sun-dried tomatoes + feta

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Serves 4.
Ingredients ::
4 slices sourdough bread {I used a loaf that came pre-sliced into these halves, which worked great}
1 garlic clove
100g {about 1/2 block} feta cheese
200g sundried tomatoes
150g hummus
Pinch dried thyme

- Heat up a griddle pan until it’s searing hot, then place the four slices of toast {completely dry, no oil} into the pan. Keep an eye on the toasts, flipping them over now and again. When they’re hot and have beautiful charred lines criss crossing over them, remove from the pan. Straight away rub one side of each slice with the cut side of a clove of raw garlic, and then leave to cool slightly.

- Spread each toast with a layer of hummus, then top with sundried tomatoes. Crumble over the feta, and finally top with a dusting of dried thyme and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil too, if you fancy.

- Serve as a light lunch, or as the first course of a main meal.

T W O :: Vegan hummus ‘abundance’ bowl

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Serves 2.
Ingredients ::
1 large aubergine
4 tbsp dark soy sauce
4 tbsp runny honey
150g mixed bulgar wheat + quinoa {or any grain of choice}
Pinch salt

1 large courgette
1 clove garlic
3 tbsp sesame seeds
Squeeze of lemon juice
Pinch of dried oregano

1 ripe avocado
Handful of fresh spinach

150g hummus
Extra virgin olive oil
Sesame oil

- Combine the dark soy sauce, honey and pinch of salt (omit if using regular soy, as it’s much less sweet than dark soy sauce) in a wide dish. Slice the aubergine into rounds just shy of 1cm thick, and place into the honey+soy mixture. Leave for at least 15mins to marinade, turning the rounds over frequently so they coat evenly.

- Slice the courgette about 1cm thick, and place into a dish with a couple of tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, a pinch each of dried oregano and salt, a smashed garlic clove, and a squeeze of lemon juice. Leave for at least 15 mins.

- Rinse the grains in cold water, then cook for 10-12 minutes (or according to packet instructions).

- Whilst the grains boil, heat a splash of sesame oil in a frying pan, and carefully fry the aubergine a few slices at a time. Try not to put too much of the marinade in the pan, or else the honey will catch. When the aubergine is dark golden, set aside to cool (they taste better after they’ve rested a little while!).

- Drain off the cooked grains, and immediately dress with the aubergine marinade and add salt to taste.

- Heat up a griddle pan, and grill the courgette slices (taking care to drain off as much of the oil mixture as possible) until they’re nicely charred but still al dente. Set aside once cooked, and then use the leftover marinade from the courgettes to dress the chopped spinach.

- Serve in large bowls, with a heaping spoonful or two of paprika-dusted hummus!

T H R E E :: Spiced chicken, roasted pepper, + hummus homemade flatbread wraps

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Serves 4.
Ingredients ::
500g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
350ml warm water
5g fast acting dried yeast
10g salt

3 or 4 skinless chicken thigh fillets
Spice mix of choice
2 red peppers
150g hummus {with a little extra cumin + lemon juice}
Handful of rocket

- First, make the bread dough by putting the flour, yeast, and salt into a bowl, then mixing in the water. The dough is **supposed** to be really quite wet and sticky, sticky enough that you’ll want to remove any rings you might be wearing before starting the kneading process!

- To knead, I use a technique called the ‘accordion method’, which involves holding the sticky dough in your hands, repeatedly stretching it long in mid-air between your hands, then bringing them back together. The quicker you can go, the better! It takes about 10 minutes, and in that time the dough will transform from being lumpy to smooth, and will become considerably more elastic. Another great technique for kneading a soft dough like this one can be viewed here.

- After 10 minutes of kneading, put the dough into a lightly floured bowl, cover with a damp tea towel, and then leave at room temperature to prove for a minimum of 1 and a half hours, and up to 4. I left mine for 2 hours, and the difference in flavour in comparison with a 1 hour prove was amazing!

- Coat the chicken thighs in a fine drizzle of olive oil, and then dredge in your spice mix. I use a mixture of chilli powder, cumin, paprika, dried oregano, and a pinch of salt. Leave to infuse for at least 15 minutes.

- Slice the peppers into thick pieces, place into a roasting dish along with the chicken, give everything a drizzle of olive oil, and then roast at 200 degrees for 30 minutes.

- When the dough’s had a good couple of hour’s prove, knock it back, knead in a little extra flour if it’s still to sticking to roll out, and then divide into 6 pieces. Whilst you work on the first piece, cover over the remaining dough balls with the damp tea towel and set a large frying pan (without any oil in) over a high heat.

- Use your hands to begin flattening out each piece of dough in turn, giving them a moment or so to relax to make the stretching process easier. When the dough has become wide and flat enough, drape it over the backs of your hands, and gently pull outwards to stretch the dough until you can almost see through it when held up to the light. Set aside on a floured work surface, and continue with each piece of dough in turn.

- Working with one flatbread at a time, lay it carefully into the preheated and oil-free frying pan. After a minute or so, when the underside has turned a dusty pale brown colour, flip over the flatbread using tongs. After about 30 seconds, when the second side has become slightly charred in spots, remove it from the pan.

- Keep the cooked flatbreads covered over with a tea towel whilst you finishing cooking the remaining ones. This will stop them going firm, and keep them pliable and easy to roll up later on!

- To assemble the wraps, spread a layer of hummus down the centre of the flatbread, then top with finely sliced strips of chicken and red pepper. Top with a sprinkling of rocket, and then roll up!

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Now tell me, how do you eat your hummus? :)

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