Everyone loves hummus but if you're looking at a way to serve it to guests for a dip platter this Australia Day weekend may I offer you this strikingly colourful hummus platter? Creamy, smooth hummus is swirled on a plate and then topped with spiced beef mince, crunchy wine radishes, rubied pomegranate seeds, halved heirloom tomatoes, nuts and seeds and a cascade of fresh mint and parsley. Pair this hummus platter with some crunchy home made pita triangles!
I'm not going to lie, pretty much every week there is a home made dip in our fridge and most of the time it is hummus. It's healthy, tasty and is done and dusted in 5 minutes flat. Dip and crackers for dinner? No problems in summer. Dips are a national obsession in Australia. I mean have you ever been to a friend's house and not been served a delicious dip?
Another reason I love dip is because I love creamy and crunchy textures together. There's always a container full of crackers to choose from in our place because I often get cravings for something crunchy. But Dear Reader, have you seen the price of pita bread triangles lately? They're about $6.90 for a packet of crackers made out of a $2 bag of Lebanese bread. "I'll make my own," I said passing on them.
I made 2 rounds and they were demolished quickly which made me wish I had made the whole bag of pita bread. I called this pimped up hummus which just meant that it was fancied up, not that any pimps were involved. Imagine seeing my parents' face as I described this to them before I served it to them. I could see my mother looking at my father with a "Did she just say something was a pimp?" furrow of her brow.
The English language is a funny thing. I learned another new term the other day from a new friend Ivy who is from Georgia in the United States. She told me that there is a Southern term "Bless your heart" which actually means "F%^& you!". So when someone says something offensive, the best retort is "Well bless your heart!!!" knowing exactly what you mean without offending anyone! ;)
So tell me Dear Reader, did you know about Bless Your Heart's true meaning? And what is your favourite dip? And what sort of crackers do you usually have with your dip?
Pimped Up Hummus!
An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Serves 4-6 as part of a mezze selection
- 2 teaspoons oil
- 100g/3.5ozs. beef or lamb mince
- 1 teaspoon ras el hanout
- 1 teaspoon sumac
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- Salt and pepper for seasoning
- 2x 400g/14.1ozs. tins chickpeas, drained and rinsed well
- 2-3 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 1 cup purified water (you can also do half water half extra virgin olive oil)
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 6 wine radishes, large ones halved
- 3 cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/3 cup pomegranate seeds
- 2 tablespoons pumpkin and sesame seeds
- 1/4 cup freshly chopped mint and parsley
Step 1 - Heat oil in a frypan on medium heat and fry the mince with the ras el hanout, sumac and cumin. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Step 2 - In a food processor process the chickpeas, garlic, tahini, water and lemon juice until smooth. Season to taste.
Step 3 - Spread the hummus on the base of a large serving plate. Top with the beef mince, radishes, cherry tomatoes, pomegranate seeds, seeds and mint and parsley. Serve with pita bread triangles (see recipe below).
Crunchy pita bread triangles
- 3 rounds Lebanese bread
- 4 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1 large clove garlic, very finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
Step 1 - Preheat oven to 180C/350F and line two baking trays with parchment. Mix the tomato paste, oil, garlic, smoked paprika and salt together. Brush over the whole rounds. Then cut the rounds into 8 triangles and lay these on the lined trays. Bake for 12 minutes, then turn off the oven heat and allow to dry out further in the oven.