We had such a great time at January's Ottolenghi-club, that we reconvened just a month later for Febru-lenghi, another celebration of Yotam's ridiculously good recipes. You'd think it would be getting hard to keep standards high, but this felt like one of the best club-meetings ever - you can get a full run-down over on our facebook page.
I was home alone for the week and got a bit carried away, committing to three different dips - butternut and tahini spread, avocado and broad bean dip and this butterbean hummus with red pepper and walnut paste. This was all a fairly significant time commitment, although a lot of it was spent just waiting for things to roast or cool. The end result was amazing though - each one of these dips was somebody's favourite around the table. The beautifully fresh avocado and broad bean dip was the most summery, while the sweet and nutty pumpkin dip was a bit heartier.
The fanciest of all was the butterbean hummus, which basically combined two dips - a red pepper paste reminiscent of the sauce we made for the eggplant kataifi last time and a pretty simple hummus. It's a winning combination and the stylish thyme and walnut garnish made it the most visually appealing of the three. The roasting and peeling of the peppers, chilli and garlic takes up a bit of time, but once that's done everything comes together very quickly. I can recommend serving with Turkish bread from A1 Bakery - they bake it to order and it is goddamn perfect.
Stay tuned for Cindy's dessert contribution next! There really is no better club than Ottolenghi club.
Butterbean hummus with red pepper and walnut paste
(a recipe from Ottolenghi's Guardian column)
red pepper & walnut paste
6 red peppers
8 whole garlic cloves
2 mild red chillies
1 tablespoon thyme leaves
60g walnut pieces, lightly roasted
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 cans butterbeans, rinsed and drained
100ml olive oil
1 garlic clove, skin on and lightly crushed
3 sprigs of thyme
Start by roasting the peppers. Heat the oven to 220°C and lay the peppers, chillies and garlic cloves out on a baking tray.
Cook for 20 minutes and then take out the garlic and chillies, putting them aside in a bowl covered with cling-wrap. Keep the peppers going for another 20 minutes or so, until the skin is nice and blackened, then add them to the bowl and leave to cool.
Once everything is cool enough to handle you can peel and de-seed the chillies and the peppers and get rid of the garlic skins. Pop the peeled garlic, chillies and peppers in a food processor along with a generous sprinkle of salt and the thyme leaves and blitz it all to a paste. Add the tomato paste, vinegar and paprika and blitz again. Stir through half of the walnut pieces (the rest will be used as a garnish).
The first step for making the hummus is to make your oil nice and fragrant - put the crushed garlic clove and thyme sprigs and the olive oil into a saucepan and cook over medium heat until the garlic just starts to caramelise. Remove the clove and set aside a couple of tablespoons of the oil and the thyme sprigs for later.
Pour the rest of the infused oil into a food processor with the butterbeans and half a teaspoon or so of salt and blitz to a paste. Add water until you've got the hummus at the texture you want it to be.
To serve, spread the hummus out on a plate with a high ridge around the edge. Spoon the pepper and walnut paste into the middle before sprinkling over the walnuts, drizzling with the oil you've set aside and garnishing with the thyme sprigs.