Saturday, 13 May 2017

Roasted Carrot Hummus

Considering how easy it is to make hummus, I'm always surprised that people ever buy it. The product you make yourself is far tastier, cheaper and above all has only the ingredients you want in it.
Here I have added equal quantities of roasted carrots, I believe the sweet flavour, intensified by roasting works well and since cumin, in my opinion is the perfect spice to use with both carrot and chickpeas, I had to include it.

For this recipe you will need;
300gm of cooked chickpeas
300gm of carrots
1 tablespoon of tahini
1 clove of garlic
1 heaped teaspoon (at least) of cumin seeds
The juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil plus a little extra for roasting the carrots
1 teaspoon of Marigold bouillon powder of 1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of coursely ground black pepper.

Begin by roasting the carrots in a teaspoon or so of oil, in a hot 200C oven for 10 minutes or until the carrots are tender, allow to cool completely.
Dry roast the cumin seeds in a pan over a medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes until the seeds realease their aroma. Grind and set aside.
In a food processor, process the chickpeas, carrots, crushed garlic, tahini, lemon juice and seasoning. Blend until you have a really smooth paste and finally trickle in the olive oil while still processing.

The earthy flavour of beetroot also works well with this type of humus, again the use of cumin works well.
Another vegetable to consider is red pepper, I wouldn't use green peppers but red, orange or yellow will be fine. Roast the peppers rubbed with a little oil to intensify the flavour. As well as using the cumin, you can add chili when using peppers. 
I like to roughly grind the cumin, there's no need to achieve a fine powder, the odd little nugget of cumin is a welcome treat.

Monday, 8 May 2017

Roasted Artichoke Paté

It's hard to believe that with little more than three ingredients you can produce such a delicious finished dish. the last of my Jerusalem artichokes have now been dug up, leaving only a few for next winter's harvest. They have long been a favourite vegetable of mine, you have only to type "artichoke" into the search box at the top left of my blog home page to see how many recipes I have created using them and of course artichokes simply roasted in oil and served as a vegetable, are delicious.

For this recipe you will need;
400gm of Jerusalem artichokes
250gm of cream cheese
1 clove of garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon of Marigold bouillon powder or 1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon of coarsely ground black pepper
2 teaspoons of oil for roasting the artichokes.

Begin by scrubbing the artichokes, cutting them in half length ways and rubbing with the oil before roasting in a hot oven (200) for 15 minutes or until the artichokes are tender and have taken on some dark brown caramelisation, Allow to cool completely.
I make my own cream cheese by straining kefir over a couple of days, it produces a cream cheese that has far more flavour, with a pleasant acidity. You can substitute commercially available cream cheese.
When the artichokes are cool, blend them in a food processor until they form a coarse puree, then add all remaining ingredients, process on pulse until fully incorporated.

I enjoy the extra texture that leaving the caramelised ends and skin bring to the paté so I leave them on.
This paté is delicious served with crackers or toasted sourdough, but it also makes an excellent sauce for cooked and drained spaghetti, reserve a tablespoon of the pasta cooking liquid to slacken the sauce if needed.