Portion/Yield:Serves 6 as a starter
Once asparagus is available on the markets, you know that spring has sprung. The season seems to start earlier each year and I was very surprised to find asparagus on sale in the UK as early as March this year.
Ingredients & Method
- 200g asparagus
- 400g (drained weight) canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- juice of 1 lemon
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 tablespoons cold water
- ½ teaspoon sumac
- 100g feta cheese, crumbled
- sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Trim the asparagus, discarding the hard ends of the spears, then slice the asparagus into 2cm-long pieces (stems and tips). Cook the asparagus in the boiling water for about 2 minutes or until tender. Immediately drain and refresh in iced water, then leave to drain in a colander for 10 minutes.
Keep 6 or 7 pieces of the asparagus tips for garnish and also keep 1 tablespoon of the chickpeas for garnish; set both aside.
Place the rest of the cooked asparagus and chickpeas, the cumin, garlic, tahini, lemon juice, 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, the water and salt and pepper in a food processor, then pulse-blend 4–5 times to make the hummus. I like my hummus to have some coarseness, which is why I pulse-blend it rather than blend until smooth, but the choice is yours. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if needed.
To serve, spoon the hummus onto a large flat plate or bowl plate. Use the back of a spoon to make a shallow well in the centre, then drizzle over the rest of the oil, sprinkle over the sumac and crumble over the feta. Finally, scatter over the reserved asparagus tips and whole chickpeas to garnish. Serve with warm toasted pitta bread or breadsticks.