I wanted to make normal hummus, but was out of chickpeas. Luckily I had a tin of black beans to hand. As the colour was already going to be dark I decided to add some more dark ingredients. This is a nice change on ordinary hummus – the olives and tomatoes don’t overwhelm the flavour but add some nice notes in the background.
400g tin black beans, drained
1 large clove garlic
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp tahini
7 black olives
3 sundried tomatoes
2 tbsp sundried tomato oil
handful of fresh parsley
Put all the ingredients, bar one olive, in a food processor.
Blend until smooth.
Season with salt and pepper.
Serve with the remaining olive sliced as a garnish.
I haven’t quite got to my second anniversary as a vegetarian. There are times when I still get the odd craving for meat. I’m quite specific about it too, it has to be Marks & Spencers tinned stewing steak. I have worked out that when I get this craving it’s because I’m missing iron in my diet. The best way to get iron in your diet is through green leafy vegetables. As far as I’m concerned you can’t eat too many of them. Another way of increasing your intake of iron is to eat something containing vitamin C at the same time.
Now watercress contains good quantities of iron and vitamin C, but I’ve decided to help it along in this salad with little segments of lemon.If you’ve never segmented a citrus fruit, this video will show you how. As watercress can stand up to some strong flavours, I’ve added sundried tomatoes, capers to the lemon and then some avocado for creamy contrast.
This is a great little salad. The lemon segments don’t overpower it, you just get little bursts of sourness against the iron pepperiness of the watercress and the creaminess of the avocado. If you didn’t want to use watercress then rocket or even flat leaf parsley would work well in this as well.
1 lemon, one half juiced, one half segmented
1/4 tsp mustard
3 tbsp olive oil
1 pack watercress (about 100g)
6 sundried tomatoes, chopped
2 tsp capers
1 avocado, stoned, peeled and chopped
Make up the dressing with the juice of half the lemon, the mustard and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and mix thoroughly.
Add the watercress, sundried tomatoes, capers, avocado and lemon segments to a large bowl. Toss them in the dressing.
Serve with crusty bread.
Serves 2 as a light lunch or a side salad
This is a great way of using one fresh ingredient with some from the store cupboard to create something fresh and delicious. I’ve used parsley here, but a mixture of herbs would do, or some green salad vegetable like spinach or watercress. If I can’t be bothered getting the little food processor out, I do a deconstructed version of this by just roughly chopping everything and tossing it into the pasta.
1 clove garlic
8 black olives
1 1/2 tbsp capers
1 small pack of parsley (or other herbs to equivalent amount)
3 sundried tomato halves + 2 tbsp of the oil
While the pasta of your choice is cooking, put the ingredients in a food processor and whizz until smooth.
Season with salt and pepper.
When the pasta is cooked, drain and then put back in the pan.
Stir in the sauce until the pasta is properly coated.
Serve on warmed dishes.