August 23rd, 2009

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Borlotti Bean and Courgette Hummus

My borlotti beans  have finally produced a few pods which can now be harvested. Last year I was very impatient and picked them too early and ended up with only a few beans. This year my patience has been rewarded and I have some fantastic pink striped beans to show for it.

The giant courgettes are still rampant, so there is even a dedicated drawer in the fridge for them. I was so worried at the beginning of the season that I would not have many courgettes I had to hold back from picking the flowers. I wanted to stuff them with fresh crab meat, dip the flowers in tempura batter and deep fry them but never got around to it. However my fear was that once I picked the flowers I would not have any fruits, perhaps I should have been tempted!

Mr.P and I are very fortunate and privileged to eat well. We are both good cooks and now that we are keen gardeners too we have even more fun. The cooking duties are shared,  however sometimes I would say what I had in mind and he will get on and just simply make it happen. Now ladies that’s one to be jealous of!

We both have poor memories. I have been writing on my shopping list for a few weeks to buy chickpeas, but for some reason I always leave the shop without them. I actually needed some dried ones to stuff my knitted chickens but as I keep forgetting to buy them the chickens had to be happy with something else. I fancy a nice big bowl of hummus with lots of good extra virgin olive oil, a generous dash of fresh lemon juice and a sprinkle of sumac. Hey- ho it never happened but when these borlotti beans popped out I had the basic ingredient for a fabulous hummus.

I used the white parts of the courgettes in the hummus and the green bits for a lovely soup . I did not want to throw anything away and this is a wonderful way of  fully using all parts of the vegetable. I could have given them to the worms in the wormery but they have whispered in my ear that they also have had enough of eating courgettes and fancied a change of diet.

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As we were having our courgette supper which consisted of chilled courgette soup, courgette and goats cheese bread and this lovely borlotti bean and courgette hummus, we were chatting about how we could have used butter beans or even chickpeas for the hummus instead of the borlotti beans. Mr.P then added that if you not to have any tahini to hand you could have used a tablespoon of peanut butter. I pointed to the aubergine plants that are bearing the most beautiful looking fruits you have ever seen, my thoughts were that once the courgettes have finished the aubergines could be used instead of the courgettes. At this stage the conversation became a bit heavy and technical for me as I realised the notepad will be coming out in a second and then we will be off on a hummus tangent….writing 365 hummus recipes! Scary thought…..you must think we are a couple of saddos as all we can do is talk food around the dinner table, do not be alarmed but it even became pillow talk, shower talk and ….the rest…too much information!?

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  • 100g fresh borlotti beans
  • 1/4 white onion
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 250g courgettes
  • 1tbs tahini
  • 10ml extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1tsp sumac
  • Juice of half a lemon

Place the fresh borlotti beans in a small saucepan, cover with cold water add the piece of onion and the bay leaf. Bring the beans to the boil, reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and cook the beans until they are soft. Add a 1/2 teaspoon of salt to the beans for the last 5 minutes of the cooking time.

Drain the cooked borlotti beans, discard the onion and bay leaf and cool the beans in icy water.

Cut the courgettes in even size pieces, heat a non- stick frying pan and saute the courgettes in a teaspoon of oil and seasoning until tender and starting to colour.

Place the drained chilled beans, cooked courgettes, tahini, 3/4's of the sumac, lemon juice and seasoning in a food processor, I use a thermomix. Blend until smooth, adjust the seasoning if needed.

Spoon the hummus in a serving dish, garnish with olive oil and the rest of the sumac.

Makes approximately 300g of hummus

Food Fanatics Tips

If you do not have fresh borlotti beans use either tinned or dried borlotti beans. If you use dried you must remember to hydrate the  beans over night in 5 times the amount of cold water, drain and cook until tender and add the salt at the end. You could also subsitute the borlotti beans for butter beans or chickpeas.

What is Tahini? :- Tahini is sesame seed paste and available from most large supermarkets or health food stores. It reminds me of peanut butter but made of sesame seeds.  Stir well before using and keep refrigerated after opening. I love adding a teaspoon of tahinin to marinades, salad dressings or soups. It also adds an extra dimention to flapjacks and cookies.


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9 Comments to “Borlotti Bean and Courgette Hummus”

  1. Sarah says:

    Just made this – delicious! Didn’t bother with the onion when cooking the beans, and seemed to turn out OK. Also no sumac, so used some oregano when frying the courgette. Great recipe, thanks!

  2. Alex says:

    Inspired by you Maddy I have grown my own courgettes from seed this year and am now reaping the rewards! This dip is great although I put too much tahini in the first time so I need to make it again, what a good excuse! Delicious scooped up with tons of warm brown pitta. If anyone is looking for sumac Barts do it in Waitrose.

  3. Deborah Dawson says:

    This recipe sounds great, can’t wait to try it as i eat alot of hummus. I am from Canada and i don’t ever recall seeing a spice sumac, we have sumac trees around but they are poisonous so wouldn’t want to use them, obviously this is something different.

  4. Lori says:

    a fantastic idea adding zucchini/aubergines. I need to try that the next time I make hummus.

    Love those little yarn chicks. They are adorable. I need to make something like that!

  5. Barry says:

    That’s brilliant – I made houmous recently, and later an improvised borlotti equivalent. I did consider adding tahini to the latter, but in the end I chickened out. However, since I’ve still got both in the cupboard, I’ll be sure to try this recipe in the near future. The sautéed courgettes are a great idea – I had to add tomato purée, garlic and lots of seasoning to get my bean paste to taste of anything (though it was quite good when finished). Thanks for another inspiring recipe! :-)

  6. Sarah says:

    This recipe sounds delicious, especially with your home grown produce. It reminds me a bit of white bean spread popular in Romania but with an extra twist. In Israel, like elsewhere, there is a trend to use local produce and chefs come up with wonderful variations- sun dried tomato, eggplant, yogurt, fava beans….
    It’s wonderful.

  7. Janie says:

    Hi Maddy,
    I have discovered that you can use fresh sesame seeds if you don’t have any tahini – just grind them to almost a paste in your Thermomix before you add the other ingredients to blend. This gives a delicious flavour and lots of nutrition benefits too.

  8. James says:

    Food talk – I know what you mean. My brother says I live in Foodland.

    Tahini! That’s what I missed out. I made a red lentil version a couple of days ago. Smoky aubergines would be nice!

  9. Daryl Ann Whitehead says:

    Hello Madalene
    I just wanted to say thankyou to you for sharing your experiences. It seems only polite given the efforts you put in. Having had 4 failed attempts in the last 18 months to buy a house with garden where I can grow my own kitchen garden I am living vicariously through your experiences and those of my mother in Australia. Mum has recently had a house built on an airpark and is busy creating a fabulous kitchen garden. I am so envious of her ability to grow watermelon.
    One day I will get my kitchen garden – til then I will continue to enjoy your experiences and imaginative recipes. As they say down under “on ya”!

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