We all have different memories of different people, places and food... and sometimes these memories can be kind of random or even weird. This is my case today. Scotland for me is the most beautiful place on the Earth - the colours of the mountains (and your eyes can never escape from at least one mountain, even in the biggest city) are so vibrant and luscious, that for a moment you might think that you are in an Avatar movie. You can even guess the season of the year just by looking at the colours of the mountains. Super mega green grass with cloud-white flakes of sheep in the distance - this is end of Spring and beg. Summer. A burst of pink and red heather signifies July-August and the beginning of Autumn. Winter is highlighted by the egg yolk yellow gorse. Finally, Spring comes in a purple dress, made of gentle bluebells with white cuckooflower dots.
Now that you have pictured all these stunning colors in you mind, I will switch to the Lebanese hummus. Why would you ask? Because it was Scotland, where I tried hummus for the first time in my life. Also, hummus for me is like four seasons of the Scottish mountains on one plate: green parsley; white pine nuts and garlic flakes; red bell peppers or dry tomatoes; yellow mustard and dark purple Kalamata olives. Every time I make it I add something new, and yet my hummus always comes out delicious. You can even add the cuckooflower sprouts into it - very healthy and aromatic. Never stop - always test and learn. Here is my recipe to the perfect Hummus that looks like four seasons of Scotland.
Cooking time: 7 minutes
Serves: 1 hungry person or as a light dip for a few people
200g (7oz) - pre-soaked or canned chickpeas (I often use organic canned chickpeas in a natural jelly-like liquid, which I use as well)
1 tbsp of pine nuts (pine nuts add so much flavour)
1 tbsp of Tahini (a puree made from sesame seeds... it should be very soft and fresh. I also use the juice/liquid from the can)
1 small garlic clove (do not forget to take out the sprout in order to avoid bad breath)
3 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp of lemon or lime juice
1/3 tsp of Dijon mustard
a pinch of salt
Additional ingredients for more flavor and aroma: 1/2 of a red bell pepper / 2 sun-dried tomatoes / a hand full of any sprouts / a teaspoon of sweet paprika / or ripe Kalamata olives without pipes. Try new things every time!
Put all your ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth and silky. Usually, this is about 30-40 seconds. Move the mixture to a place, decorate with more olive oil and pine nuts, fresh parsley, and a pinch of sweet paprika. You can keep hummus in a fridge for 3-4 days.
Hummus is the best entry dish to any party or dinner. You can dip fresh carrot, cucumber or celery sticks into it. I love spreading it on my home-made bread with seeds or just add it to a warm bowl of wild rice. Humus means joy and new discoveries, while naturally spiced garlic and mustard (and sprouts!) will instantly bring you back to life.