Portion/Yield:Makes about 500g hummus/Serves 4 as a starter
For me the meaning of hummus referrers to a technique and style of a recipe with a few fundamental ingredients, without these fundamentals it’s not worthy of being called a hummus. For me a hummus must contain at least one cooked pulse, tahini paste, good olive oil and seasoning. The rest is style and flavour.
Making different flavours of hummus is very fashionable. Homemade hummus I very easy to make and to be honest very cost effective too. I like experimenting with flavours and styles and this borlotti bean and courgette hummus is one of my variation on a classic recipe. This recipe is by no means a classic hummus, but it does have the fundamentals of a hummus-style dish. For this recipe, it’s important to choose a really good quality olive oil that has a fruity taste. Serve with plenty of breadsticks or toasted pitta bread.
Ingredients & Method
- 250g fresh borlotti beans (shelled weight)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed
- 250g courgettes, trimmed and sliced
- 1 tablespoon tahini
- 1 teaspoon ground sumac
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
Place the borlotti beans in a saucepan with the bay leaf and cover with cold water. Cover and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for about 15 minutes or until the beans are cooked and tender. Add the measured salt to the beans for the last 5 minutes of the cooking time. Drain the beans, discard the bay leaf and set the beans aside to cool completely.
Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a non-stick frying pan until hot, then add the onion, garlic and a little salt and pepper and sauté over a medium heat for about 8 minutes or until the onion is just starting to caramelise. Add the courgettes and sauté for a further 5–6 minutes or until the courgettes are tender and starting to colour. Remove from the heat.
Place the borlotti beans, onion and courgette mixture, tahini, three-quarters of the sumac, the lemon juice and salt and pepper in a food processor or blender. Blend together until smooth, then taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary. Spoon the hummus into a serving dish, drizzle over the remaining olive oil and sprinkle with the remaining sumac to garnish. Serve immediately with breadsticks or toasted pitta bread, torn into pieces.
Canned borlotti beans can be substituted for the fresh beans, if you like. Use 250g (rinsed and drained weight) canned borlotti beans. There is no need to cook the canned beans, so simply blend the rinsed and drained beans with the onion and courgette mixture, etc, to make the hummus. Alternatively, you can use canned butter beans or chickpeas instead of the borlotti beans.
What is tahini? Tahini is a thick, creamy paste made from ground sesame seeds. It is readily available in jars or plastic tubs from most large supermarkets, health food shops or delicatessens. It reminds me of peanut butter as it is similar in texture, but it is made from sesame seeds not peanuts. Open the jar of tahini and stir it well before use. Once opened, keep it refrigerated and use within 1 month. I love adding a teaspoon or two of tahini to marinades, salad dressings or soups. It also adds an extra dimension if you add 1 tablespoon tahini to uncooked flapjack and cookie mixtures before baking.
The hummus can be made in advance. Store it in an airtight container in the fridge and use within 3 days. Remove the hummus from the fridge about 10 minutes or so before serving to allow the flavours to come through.