forever a little while since my last blog post.
Last month I booked a ticket to spend a week in London and flew 36 hours later…
July is a pretty good time to take a holiday from the valley - the days are short, dark and chilly.
Although London wasn't exactly how most of us know mid summer to be, it was light until almost 10 which was a real treat.
most of my a bit of time in Hyde Park: running, walking, reading, listening to music while lying on the grass, people watching, drinking Pimms sun-downers at the Lido and the Serpentine Restaurant - its virtually my backyard when I visit and I love it.
Then just as I was packing for home, another spontaneous little trip happened to the South of France, showing a friend all my usual haunts on the beautiful Côte d'Azur and spending plenty of time lazing by the pool. The next thing I knew, I was away from home for a month!
I'm incredibly lucky that I have enthusiastic Bailey-sitters and could leave him with them for such a length of time - allowing me to relax and enjoy my time in the sunshine, secure in the knowledge that Bails was in excellent lipstick-covered hands!
Cannes has a wonderful daily fresh food market but one of the things (besides real cheddar cheese) that I found myself craving on this trip and unable to source, was hummous.
So to the trusty Google-machine and then I simply made my own.
I won't be resorting to the store-bought variety again in a hurry - this recipe is easy and the result is delicious.
To make this creamy hummous you'll need:
400g can chickpeas in water,
1/4 C lemon juice,
1/4 C tahini*,
1 generous T garlic,
1/3 C olive oil,
1 t salt,
1/2 t cumin,
paprika for sprinkling.
*I couldn't find tahini so made my own:
Take 1 C sesame seeds, pour them onto some greaseproof paper in a baking tray and toast them in an oven preheated to 180ºC for 10-15 minutes…tossing regularly so they don't burn. Keep an eye on them.
Blitz them in a food processor and when they form a thick paste, add 1/3 C olive oil.
Once you've blitzed your tahini, scoop it out and store the excess in a jar.
Pop 1/4 C back into your food processor (no need to clean it in between) along with the lemon juice and whiz it up.
Next add the garlic, olive oil, salt and cumin and keep the processor running.
Add half the chickpeas** and give it a good blitz then add the last half.
Scrape the sides down as you are processing to make sure everything gets blended and is creamy.
If its still a little dry, add more olive oil to your liking.
Scoop it out into a dish and pour over a little more olive oil and sprinkle with paprika.
Serve with fresh ciabatta and soft butter.
** I've made this several times and have taken the time to skin the chickpeas and also left the skins on when in a hurry. Using skinned chickpeas resulted in a slightly smoother texture but for the extra effort its hardly noticeable. The verdict: no need to skin them.