Tuesday, February 27, 2007


Roasting is my favourite way to treat a pumpkin; the edges turn gold and crusty and the interior loses its watery lacklustre. You get intense flavours and an interesting texture - I can eat this stuff cold, on toast, with goats' cheese, or... ooh, any which way.

Okay, so this is one to try if you're a hummous addict like me. I make this chickpea dip in some guise every week, sometimes adding chopped roast pepper, lime or coriander, but always stuffing it into pittas with mixed leaves and chutney or pesto for my favourite lunch in the world. This is a bit of a weird way to perk up hummous but it worked beautifully, and makes a cracking sandwich with some rocket and pumpkin seeds on top.

8 pieces roast pumpkin (1" cubes)
75g dried chickpeas, cooked (soak overnight, then boil for 1.5-2hours)
2 cloves garlic
1tbsp tahini (sesame seed paste)
Juice of half a lemon
2tsp salt
About 150ml warm water

The pumpkin wants to be cubed and roasted in olive oil for about 40 minutes (put it in the oven while you're cooking something else). Put the pumpkin, garlic, lemon juice and a little water into a blender or processor and whiz until smooth. Now add the salt, tahini, and about half the chickpeas; now whiz until grainy, adding water to help the process. Finally add the remaining chickpeas and give the briefest of whizzes, to maintain some nice chunks. Add water to get the right consistency (if the peas or pumpkin were warm, then the hummous will firm up a bit more as it cools).

Sprinkle with toasted pumpkin seeds and cayenne pepper to serve.