Although this fits in with the currently running vegan theme, hummus is a staple favourite of mine and it appears on my table frequently. Packed full of goodness from the chickpeas (protein, fibre and a host of vitamins and minerals), hummus is easily personalised with any number of other ingredients but the below version is what I’ll be using going forwards. You might need to take some time tinkering with the seasoning to get it to your taste, but if you don’t like it spicy be very light on the chilli flakes!
You will need:
1 tin of chickpeas or about 250g cooked weight.
1 teaspoon of dried chilli flakes
3 cloves of garlic
Almond milk (optional)
Juice of two small limes
A bunch of fresh coriander
Fresh ground black pepper and coarse sea salt (as always, try to get Maldon Sea Salt!)
To begin in a small frying pan put about 3 tablespoons of olive oil and your chilli flakes. Slice your garlic as thinly as possible and add to the oil mix. Heat very gently- you don’t want the garlic to colour or to start truly frying, the idea is to cook incredibly gently and infuse the oil with flavour. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes in this fashion, then take off the heat and set aside to cool.
You will need a blender or a very strong arm for the next bit! Drain your chickpeas and put in a blender with the juice of half a lime. Run it through (or mash by hand) until the chickpeas are starting to break up. Alternately add the oil/chilli/garlic mix and lime juice a bit at a time, taking care to mix thoroughly each time. I also like to add about a tablespoon of almond milk for some base flavour and to help thin out the texture a little- this will also take some of the kick out of the chilli if you find the heat too much!
Consistency wise you’re looking really for anything from a coarse pate to a uniform paste- this is very much a personal preference I find! Additional olive oil or almond milk will thin it down or skimp on these if you prefer it chunky. Once you have a texture you like, very finely shred the coriander and add along with salt and pepper to taste- plenty of pepper to my taste!
You can eat it straight away or leave to improve- it will keep for a week or more in the fridge and the flavours will come out more if you leave it over night.
Serve as a dip with crudités or pitta chips or alongside a greenleaf salad with roasted tomatoes. Have it on toast as a snack or just eat it right out of the bowl!