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Recipe – Harissa Hummus

I feel slightly cheeky calling this a recipe as it is so easy and doesn’t even require any cooking!

This hummus recipe is great as a starter or just to nibble on with some nice bread dunked in. I am starting to think about what things I will be serving over the festive period when we have friends and family over and this dip will definitely make the cut.

If you haven’t had it before, harissa is a Moroccan cooking paste made from chillies, tomato, garlic and spices. There are lots of variations and different harissa recipes – the jar I bought even had some crushed rose petals in it.

Harissa can be served alone as a spicy condiment, added to couscous to spice it up, mixed with mayonnaise to make a mild dip or used as marinade on chicken or other meats.

Here are the 5 ingredients you will need to make this warm and spicy dip:

Ingredients

A can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed

2-3 teaspoons of harissa paste (start with 2 teaspoons then add a third if needed after tasting)

2-3 tablespoons of crème fraîche

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

A glug of good quality olive oil

How to make it

  • Put the chickpeas, harissa paste, crème fraîche, garlic clove and a drizzling of olive oil into a food processor
  • Blend until the hummus is of a consistency you like (I personally like mine quite chunky)
  • If the mixture seems too dry, add some more olive oil
  • Have a taste to see if you need more harissa to spice it up or a bit more crème fraîche to cool it down
  • Enjoy with flatbreads or crudités…we had ours with plain tortilla chips and beers watching the football!

Recipe – Tzatziki

We had plans to go out for dinner and catch a film at the cinema last night but felt it was too lovely an evening to spend indoors. Instead, we both headed home then straight out into the garden.

I stopped off on the way home to grab some ingredients for a barbecue but my plans for homemade lamb, feta and cumin burgers with a Greek salad were put on hold when I saw the supermarket shelves…no burgers, lamb mince, salad or burger buns!!!

Now I know we are often mocked for how quickly we get our flip flops and Pimms out at the first sign of sun, but I would argue we are simply making the most of the little sunshine we have at this time of year. So with this attitude, I didn’t let the supermarket shortages put me off but instead made a few menu tweaks and put my foot down to get home while it was still glorious!

In my haste to pay and be on my way, I was sucked into a last minute purchase at the tills, although I’m not regretting it the way I usually do with split-decision buys and I think it looks rather lovely in the doorway to welcome people inside!

We haven’t got around to buying a proper barbecue yet so we made do with a nifty little disposable version…not perfect but it got the job done!

We bought some beef koftas from the butchers and served them with crusty bread, tzatziki (my recipe for this is below) and a simple salad of gem lettuce, tomato and cucumber dressed with salt, pepper, olive oil and lemon juice.

I have a cupboard full of different herbs, spices, oils and dressings but sometimes it is nice to just keep things simple and fresh.

There is something quite special about the first BBQ of the summer; a taster of what is to come over the next few months.

Today’s recipe is one of my summer staples and reminds me of sitting in the sun. It is perfect as a burger topping or a dip for a big bowl of chips, crisps or crudités.

I haven’t put any measurements in this recipe as I make it slightly differently each time and I think that you just need to keep tasting it and adding more or less of what flavours you like – I like my tzatziki really garlicky but if you are making this for a romantic evening then by all means tone it down a bit!

Ingredients

Natural yogurt

Cucumber, diced

Lemon juice, just a squeeze

Garlic, minced

Fresh mint, finely chopped

Salt

Olive oil

How to make it

  • Simply combine the yogurt, cucumber, fresh lemon juice, garlic, mint and salt
  • Mix well and keep tasting it to ensure your flavours are nicely balanced
  • To serve, drizzle with olive oil and add a sprig of mint for decoration