These dips will all last for up to five days in sealed containers in the fridge, and are great as a snack – just add an extra swirl of extra virgin olive oil and a good pinch of sea salt
½ small pumpkin, peeled, seeded and cut into chunks (about 300g)
1 small garlic clove
Pinch ground cumin
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons tahini
Lemon juice, to taste
Steam the pumpkin chunks for 10 minutes until they are tender. Set aside to dry out. Crush the garlic with a little salt and the cumin to form a paste.
Put the pumpkin in a blender with the garlic mixture, olive oil and tahini and pulse until nearly smooth. Add lemon juice and salt to taste and pulse again.
Serve warm with rack of lamb for a posh, interesting dinner or at room temp as a dip.
The rich and sweet flavours of this regally-hued houmous would also work alongside lamb and fish.
1 large or 2 medium beetroot (about 200g)
1 garlic clove
4 tablespoons tahini
2 tablespoons Greek yoghurt
6 tablespoon olive oil
Splash of red wine vinegar
Boil the beetroot until tender, about 30–40 minutes. Once cooked and cool enough to handle, peel and roughly chop. Crush the garlic with a pinch of salt to form a paste. Blend all the ingredients together until smooth and season with salt, to taste
I prefer my houmous silky smooth, like the Israelis, so I make it in a blender rather than a processor. I rarely find tinned chickpeas are soft enough to make smooth houmous, but don’t often have the inclination to soak and cook my own. Instead I cook tinned ones a little longer, and it seems to do the trick. However, if you can find the very large, soft, Spanish chickpeas that come in glass bottles they are just perfect, and won’t need the extra cooking.
300g drained chickpeas
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
2 fat garlic cloves
4 tablespoons lemon juice
Empty the chickpeas into a saucepan, with the bicarbonate of soda, and top up with water to cover by 3cm or so. Cover, bring to the boil and cook for 20 minutes until totally soft and easy to mush. Drain, reserving the cooking liquid. Crush the garlic with a pinch of salt to form a paste. Blend all the other ingredients, until smooth, using the cooking water to loosen it until it’s a soft consistency that only just holds its shape.