God bless Dom for extending the deadline for Random Recipes by an extra day! I ran out of time over the weekend but now I can get an entry in, even if it's a really quick and simple one (although that was dictated by the book I chose and not my laziness/tardiness, believe it or not).
The theme this month is "first and last", because Dom quite rightly recognises that the very first and very last recipes in a book often get ignored in favour of the more glamorous recipes in the middle! Due to our impending house move, our stuff is very disorganised at the moment and there are cookbooks scattered all through the house, but the first one that came to hand was A Middle Eastern Feast, by Claudia Roden (who has never written a bad recipe - I think this is an extract from the much heavier tome A New Book of Middle Eastern Food) and the very first recipe was Hummus Bi Tahina which is one of my favouritest things to eat, I can scoff it by the bucketload.
I whipped up a batch in about twenty minutes, including cooking the chickpeas (if you have dried, unsoaked chickpeas, throw them in a pressure cooker, bring up to full pressure and cook for 15 minutes). This recipe is adapted very slightly from Claudia's.
250g tinned chickpeas (I used about 150g dried chickpeas and cooked them as described above) - drain them but keep the water they were packed/cooked in
150g tahini (I didn't have that much left so used about 70g, but that was plenty)
2 or 3 cloves of garlic
Juice of a couple of lemons
Salt (I use Maldon)
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Paprika and chopped parsley to garnish (optional)
Crush the salt and garlic in a pestle and mortar.
Blend the chickpeas roughly in a food processor (or you could use a potato masher if you don't have a processor). Add the other ingredients, including the crushed garlic, and process again to mix it all together. The mix will probably be quite thick, so add enough of the cooking water (or water from the tin) to loosen it up. I like my hummus a bit lumpy but if you prefer it to be much smoother, just keep the motor running till it's the consistency you like.
It really is simplicity itself! Serve with carrot and celery sticks, crusty bread or flatbread, whatever you like really. I'm having some for lunch today in a sandwich, made with some crusty bread with black onion seeds, hummus, grated carrot and rocket. Not sure I can even wait till lunchtime.
Claudia suggests garnishing with chopped parsley, but as you can see my parsley plant isn't being very prolific at the moment!
Thank you to the ever wonderful Dom for hosting every month :)
Here's a bonus cat photo of Pokey looking like she's up to no good. She was very interested in the hummus!