homemade hummus : a recipe

homemade hummus : a recipe

I’ve dabbled in the past with making homemade hummus, but it’s never become a habit. Hummus is so widely available that it just seemed a bit of a faff, and I could ever get a consistent recipe that I was happy with. When we lived in West Didsbury this was fine, as we had loads of lovely independent delis nearby, as well as plenty of supermarkets which stocked tasty hummus. However, out here in Istria – and I know it’s a bit of a first world problem in the grand scheme of things currently – good hummus just isn’t as easy too come by. We can get it, but it’s either too whipped up and creamy (no texture at all), too bland or strangely, too vinegary. Even we shop in Trieste, we’ve not found the one. So, at the weekend, the food processor was brought out of storage and a very simple recipe from the BBC Good Food website, was adapted to suit our tastes. Absolutely simple as anything to knock together, and the base recipe has now been found. Which is great, because we are big fans of this Middle Eastern dip – and as long as we keep stocked up on the ingredients, we can have it whenever we want it now.


  • 1 can chickpeas, drained
  • Approx 60ml cold water, plus a 30ml for a looser consistency
  • 1 small garlic clove peeled and crushed
  • 1 lemon, juiced then ½ zested or a a big splash of lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp tahini
  • 1 tbsp olive oil, to garnish (optional)


  • Thoroughly rinse the chickpeas in a colander under cold running water.
  • Tip into the large bowl of a food processor along with 60ml of water and blitz until almost smooth.
  • Add the garlic, lemon and tahini, and blitz again. If the consistency is too thick, gradually pour in up to 30ml more water.
  • Blitz again for about 5 mins, or until the hummus is smooth and silky. Or less, if you prefer more texture.
  • Season with a good pinch of sea salt and transfer to a bowl.
  • Swirl the top of the hummus with the back of a dessert spoon and drizzle over a little (chilli flavoured for a kick) olive oil and sprinkle with chilli flakes.

This was made in about 10 minutes – the longest part of the process was the initial blitzing of the chickpeas. I think because it was made with fresh ingredients (apart from the chickpeas) it was super tasty and could easily be elevated with additional flavours – olives, pumpkin, red pepper, avocado, beetroot, jalapenos. The list is seemingly endless. The recipe above makes enough for four good sized portions for two people, so you can adjust the quantities accordingly so none goes to waste or if you need more. And apart from the chick pea tin, there’s little packaging – no plastic lids, cartons, outer wrappers etc. A result all round.




the easiest irish soda-bread…

the easiest irish soda-bread…

Like everyone else in lock-down, we tried our hands at bread-making. Not the arduous kind of bread where you have to proove it for days. More the kind that you knock up in a bread maker. We did have success although we did still find even using the machine to be a faff, and so never really got away from the supermarket purchases. Until now…

I think it might have been on an Instagram feed that a recipe came up from Siggi’s, using their Icelandic inspired yogurt which does not contain artificial preservatives, thickeners, sweeteners, flavours or colours. I love this yoghurt and so was immediately interested. And, with so few ingredients, decided to give it a whirl.

The recipe uses cups as a measurement, as it’s an American website, so a bit of conversion had to be done first. For the record, this accurate:

  • 1 cup = 136 grammes
  • 1 cup = 237 millilitres


  • 4 cups (544g) of all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 cups (473ml) of 0% plain drinkable yoghurt


Honestly, this could not be easier. If you have the four ingredients pre-weighed, it’ll take no longer than 5 minutes before it’s in the oven. Especially if you’re an expert kneader!

reheat the oven to 190°C (or 375°F).

Add flour, salt, and baking soda to a mixing bowl and mix together with a fork. Pour in the yoghurt and stir briskly with the fork until the ingredients are combined and it holds together. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and kneed for 30 seconds. Pat into an 8-inch and 1 1/2 inch thick round on a greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Use a knife to cut an “x” in the top of the bread.

The recipe says to bake for 45 minutes, but we found the bread to be very pale, so did it for 55 minutes and it was perfect for our taste. Let it cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack. Wrap in a lightly damp towel and let cool completely. And, that is it!


pistachio pesto…

pistachio pesto…

OK, if you have a nut allergy, DO NOT – and I repeat *DO NOT* – try out this recipe. If you don’t, and you are a fan of the pistachio nut, DO try it out. Because not only is it stupendously delicious, it is beyond easy to make, takes very little time, very little washing up is involved and is not expensive. It’s become a bit of a staple for us, especially when hot evenings mean we don’t want to spend too long in the kitchen.


(I’ve not added quantities as you’ll know how much pasta you want, how many nuts and how much parmesan etc.)

Pasta – spaghetti works well, as the pesto is quite thick, so clings to the strands – but have done it with penne & tagliatelle, and both are as good
Pistachio nuts
Parmesan cheese
Basil leaves
4 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil



This could not be any easier. And if you find shelling pistachios to be very therapeutic, it’s the recipe for you!
Shell all the pistachios, put them in a blender and add the parmesan cheese, basil and oil. Meanwhile, cook the pasta.

Blending the nuts & cheese & basil leaves & oil

Transfer the pistachios mixture to a pan, and stir over a medium heat, adding pasta water to obtain a cream. When the pasta is cooked, add it to the pistachio cream and stir, adding more cooking water until you get the consistency you prefer.

Heating through the pistachio cream, adding pasta water to get your desired consistency

Serve and complete with chopped pistachios, parmesan and a basil leaves,and a sprinkle of black pepper.