Every now and again I get tunnel vision over a particular type of food, and eat it for days and days, until something else catches the attention of my taste buds, and then I become obsessed with that instead. It's usually triggered by something I eat in a restaurant, or when a friend cooks something delicious for me - sometimes it's an exciting new dish, but often it's something familiar and simple that I just haven't cooked for a long time. Either way I become quite fixated on the recipe and with recreating it myself... and then eating it for an abnormal amount of consecutive meals. I'm sure this is a key indicator of some sort of personality disorder, but I'm too busy eating to worry about it.
My latest food obsession is hummus, having recently had a scrummy meal at Alfarid, a Moroccan mezze restaurant in Exeter, consisting of incredible, flavour-packed dips and breads and salads and filo pastry parcels of loveliness. I realise hummus might not be the first thing you reach for to warm your bones in winter, but if you serve it warm (by popping it in the oven before serving) with fresh bread, it is an extremely comforting meal, and so quick to throw together. Homemade hummus is a thousand times more delicious than the stuff you buy in the supermarket, cheaper and an absolute doddle to make - no cooking involved, you just need a few ingredients and a food processor. Also, Delia Smith pronounces it 'hoo-moose', which never stops being funny.
For research purposes (ahem) I have experimented considerably with different hummus recipes, and have settled on my favourite twist being toasted pine nuts blended in with the chick peas, as well as scattered generously on top with sweet smoked paprika. I made a large batch of this last Sunday and have been dipping into it each day this week for lunch - and I'm still not sick of it!
1 x 400g tin chick peas drained (reserve the liquid)
2 tsps tahini
1 garlic clove, crushed
Juice of 1 lemon
3 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
handful of toasted pine nuts
salt and pepper
Toppings: toasted pine nuts, sprinkle of sweet smoked paprika, glug of olive oil
- Blitz all the ingredients (apart from toppings) in a blender. The hummus will be thick so add a little bit of chick pea water at a time to thin it to a consistency that you like. I like lots of salt and pepper too, but obviously hold back if you plan to share this with little people.
- Add the toppings and eat straight away, or warm it through in the oven (before adding the toppings).
- Serve with warm bread.