Recipe: Houmus with Love to Elisa!

Today’s recipe is dedicated to my new friend Elisa who has just given birth a month early to a healthy little boy. Elisa, as I recently discovered, is mad for Houmus having spent the last 10 years or so living in the UK indulging in her favourite snack. Now back in Como she’s struggling to find Houmus in the Italian supermarkets and on my recent trip back to Blighty asked if I could look for some long life houmus to bring back for her but I went one better…who needs long life when you can make this delicious fresh version in a second. The key is having a blender without which you’ll have to resort to mashing and bashing to get the same smooth finish which, as you can imagine, will considerably increase the preparation time as well as killing your arms!

Houmus is a middle eastern dish made using smashed chick peas as a base and is now widely eaten around the world as a dip, antipasta, healthy snack and much more. It is thought to have originated in ancient Egypt before spreading through the middle east and now on to us lucky souls in Europe.

With many people suffering from dairy intolerance and unable to eat yoghurt / cream / cheese based dips, houmus provides a great alternative and can be made plain with just chick peas or using additional vegetables to give more variety. I’ve opted for an aubergine and chick pea recipe below that I recently found in waitrose magazine but if you’re not a lover of aubergine simply cut this out and blend all the other ingredients for a classic houmus, or if you’re feeling experimental play with other vege such as courgette, pumpkin, asparagus.

Serve as a dip with veggies and pitta bread, use as a filling in a falafal wrap or sandwich or any which way you like.. However you eat it, it’s delicious! I’ll be making a batch to take to Elisa in celebration of her new arrival.

Ingredients: 1 aubergine, 1 crushed garlic clove, 400g can of chick peas (drained), 1 tsp cayenne pepper or parika, shake of ground black pepper, juice of 1-2 lemons (depending on size), chopped mint, 1 tsp roasted sesame seeds, extra virgin olive oil

Preparation: 5-10 mins prep + 30-40 mins cooking for aubergine

  1. Heat the oven to 200C and place the whole aubergine on a baking tray and cook for 30-40 mins until the skin is blackened. Add the sesame seeds for the last few minutes so that they bake and release their flavours. Be careful not to burn them.
  2. Take out the aubergine flesh and add to blender along with the drained chick peas, sesame seeds, garlic, cayenne or paprika, black pepper and start blending.
  3. With the blender running add in the lemon juice, mint and a generous splash of olive oil and keep blending until nice and smooth.
  4. Serve in a bowl and add an additional splash of oil (this stops the houmus from creating a skin).
  5. If not using immediately, store in a cool place (preferably not the fridge as the cold kills the flavour).
  6. Serve with chopped fresh for a perfect spring snack in the garden.
One Response to “Recipe: Houmus with Love to Elisa!”
  1. That looks absolutely wonderful. I love seeing a new recipe for hummus – my favourite dip :D.

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