nature

green garden salad hummus

23rd January 2014

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I spent the last couple of days transplanting tiny, green, little seedlings of fennel which have self-seeded from the summer blooms; naturally dried, some saved, and some haphazardly sprinkled or wind-carried in all sorts of unusual places throughout the garden. This IS what I LOVE about a garden left to self-seed.  There is always something to be found where you least expect it, or not expect at all.

I love that it makes me get my hands and knees dirty so that I notice all the infinite little beauties all around me.  The wild rocket is popping their heads up everywhere.  I have blankets of small parsley seedlings and more green blankets of coriander seedlings, which make the most delicious addition to green salads.

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This hummus goes very nicely with this beetroot salad and served with these sweetcorn and chard pancakes. A perfect light dinner or lunch.

a wintergreen garden salad hummus

Inspired by a vegetable garden.

It is important for the celery and fennel to be very fresh and finely chopped.

ingredients 

1¼ cups dried chickpeas

tsp bicarbonate soda

½ tsp cumin seeds

½ cup tahini

juice of ½ lemon (approximately 2 Tbsp)

salt to taste

½ cup ice cold water

1 cup celery, finely chopped 

1 cup fennel, finely chopped

big handful finely chopped fresh coriander

2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh dill

rind of one lemon

sprinkling spicy paprika powder

pre-soak

1.  Soak the chickpeas overnight with double their volume in water – the next day, drain and rinse.

preparation

2.  Place the chickpeas and bicarbonate of soda in a saucepan and generously cover with water, bring to a boil, skimming off any foam that comes to the surface – simmer uncovered until the chickpeas are soft, about 1 – 2 hours depending on the type and freshness of your chickpeas.  You will need to add more water as they simmer.  Once done the chickpeas should be quite soft but not mushy – drain and set aside.

3.  Dry roast the cumin seeds in a small pan, when lightly toasted turn off the heat and grind to a powder with a mortar and pestle – set aside.

4.  Transfer the chickpeas to a food processor, run the machine, stopping and scraping down the sides occasionally, until the beans are crumbly.

5.  Pour in the tahini, add the cumin, lemon juice, salt, and blend again until well combined.  With the machine still running, start drizzling in the ice water, so that the hummus starts to become fluffy and aerated.  Depending on the beans you may not use all the water, or you may need more.  Taste and adjust to your own personal taste by adding more tahini, lemon or salt – set aside while preparing the vegetables.

6.  Finely and thinly chop the fennel and few fronds, celery and few leaves, fresh coriander and dill, place in a large shallow bowl and stir in the blended chickpeas.

7.  Combine well, adjust the seasoning, adding more salt or lemon to taste. Glug a good helping of olive oil around the hummus, sprinkle on the lemon rind and hot paprika.  Serve as above or with these crackers, vegetable sticks or in sandwiches.

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