Published July 16, 2010
Tags: chickpeas, garlic, lemon, tahini
well thats no way to say goodbye. i dont even like fish. and i dont go fishing. harmonious, still, silent lakes are not place for a child of mtv. gone into hibernation might have been a more appropriate sign off. gone to see about a doctor would have been a more honest representation of reality. and if i were to be completely, boldly, offensively frank, ‘uninspired….gone to watch five series of dr who under a blanket’ would have been the most apt explanation of my absence. but you tugged at my heart strings (smoo, im talking to you) and i couldnt help myself. i realised as i began to re-watch an entire series in the hope of “picking up on things i might have missed the first time round” that there are more important things to be doing and eating. over the past month i was introduced to the world of the chip – hot and cold. and it had such an impact that for a brief moment there, never turning on the oven again became a conceivable possibility. but like all good things, it started to take its toll, first around the hips, then around the heart. besides, chips are very loud. i cant hear the doctor talk with the chip crunching and the bag scrunching and the munching and the bunching and i was missing vital plot developments. so i decided it was time to return because the jagged little chips were tearing a hole in the diaphanous fabric of my reality. and all the while i heard the sweet dulcet tones of the doctor whispering to me “be magnificent”. magnificent was a bit much to ask but i did make some hummus. (yes, into which chips were dipped). i made too much but so it goes. and it was good.
250g tahini paste
50ml lemon juice
6 garlic cloves crushed
put chickpeas into a food processor (keeping a few aside for end presentational purposes) and add the tahini, lemon juice, garlic and some salt. blend until its completely smooth. it should be very soft and verging on runny. taste and add more salt if you think it deserves it. drizzle with some olive oil and sprinkle with paprika. finally tumble some chickpeas atop. or pine nuts. whatever floats your boat. you can serve it with some of your homemade sourdough (unless you went and got so hibernatory that you killed your starter…in which case, chips will do fine.)
sadly its not all coffee and cookies. mostly it is but sometimes that irrepressible void must be filled with dinner proper (right snow?) snow is the most ardent promoter of dinner proper i have ever met. im more of a chocolate coffee kinda girl. but then i love to cook and its my misfortune that cooking so often ends in eating. this recipe is loosely based on a recipe i found on smitten kitchen (a world shatteringly good representation of all that food blog should be) and from a number of other sources before that. so here it is…amalgamated, collated and ultimately stolen like dylan stole from woody guthrie and claimed as my own. i think its awesomes.
1 butternut squash/pumpkin (whichever your limited inner city supermarket(?) has on hand.)
pine nuts roasted (i refer you to nigellas greatest literary allusion ‘for the russian formalists, the point of literature was to make the stone stonier…this, makes the nuts nuttier)
1 red onion chopped finely
juice of 2 lemons
3 tbs olive oil
3 tbs water
handful parsley coarsley chopped
250g stock (whatever works)
pre-heat your oven as hot as it will get. roast pine nuts. forget about them until they burn then run to the shops to pick up some more and start to ask the invariable question – what am i really doing with my life? cut the pumpkin into cubes (a size that fits in your mouth. if there are two of you with mouth size disparity try to find a middle ground). toss pumpkin in a bowl with 3 or 4 garlic cloves, olive oil, rosemary, sea salt and black pepper and roast for about half hour or until soft but still shape retaining. meanwhile put a few spoons of olive oil in a pan, throw in 3 or 4 whole garlic cloves and a stick of rosemary and fry until the garlic is brown. remove the pan from heat. remove the garlic and pour in the chickpeas to coat with flavoured oil. finally add the couscous to boiling stock. remove from heat and let swell for 3 minutes. then add some butter and fork through to fluff up couscous. put the lid back on and let it swell again for another minute or so.
gently mix the pumpkin with the chickpeas, the diced red onion and toss through a couple tbs of tahini. finally scatter some pine nuts over the top. eat with couscous (or serve on a bed of couscous…depending on how many cooking stories you’ve watched today and how far you have drifted from reality).