As I am sure that I have mentioned before, I am a dip fanatic. I especially like hummus (hommus, houmus), which ever way you choose to spell it, is delicious. If you make your own it can also be a healthy choice as chick peas count towards one of your five-a-day, olive oil is rich in unsaturated fats, and by thinning the hummus with water it can be far less calorific than shop bought versions. An added handful of spinach adds colour and extra goodness. I have discovered that spinach once blitzed has a very mild flavour that can easily be masked by other flavours.
When I was a child I would be encouraged to eat my spinach with tales of Popeye (the sailor man) who would pop open a can of spinach, gulp it down, and gain superhuman strengths. I suspect that these days Popeye is rather dated, and modern children would prefer Shrek hummus. (Dipsy hummus sounds wrong, and I cannot think of any more green characters apart from Fungus the Bogeyman).
Like all these things, this is a very forgiving recipe so play with the quantities to suit you. I cook my chickpeas from dried, then free freeze them. I think that the amount used here is about the same as what you get in a 400g tin. The amount will be a good dip or toast topping for 4.
- 230 g / 8oz / 1 cup cooked chickpeas drained and rinsed
- Large handful spinach
- Juice 1/2 lemon
- 1 dsp olive oil
- 1 dsp tahini / seed or nut butter
- Small clove garlic optional
- Water to thin as needed
- Salt and pepper to taste
Simply place everything in the food processor and blitz until smooth. Add water to achieve your desired consistency. Season to taste.
If you prefer some texture to your hummus, reserve some of the chickpeas and add to the smooth dip and pulse the food processor a few times.
I made the dip in the Magimix Le Micro mini food processor. It’s a small but solidly built machine standing at just under 25cm tall, but for its size and weight it packs a punch. It whizzed the hummus in seconds and impressively can also stand up to whizzing frozen bananas into soft serve or making bliss balls.
The processor comes with a cutting and an emulsifying blade, and has a cleverly designed lid so you can pour or drip extra ingredients in. The bowl will hold 400ml, which is plenty of room for every day use and with a bit of wriggling you can store both the blades in the bowl.
So far my only niggles are that there is only a pulse button, so you have to hold it down to whizz – in reality it mixes in just a few seconds so it is not a problem, also it is not recommended to put the bowl and lid in the dishwasher above 40C, which seems inexplicable with modern plastics, again in reality it is not that much of a problem as it is easy to clean by filling with warm water a squirt of washing up liquid and whizzing. It comes with a three year guarantee so time will tell how it holds up. RRP £59.95.
I served the dip with the new crispy bacon & maple syrup crisps from Kettle Chips, made with a real bacon seasoning from Norfolk butcher HV Graves. Like all Kettle Chips offerings they had an excellent crunch and we really enjoyed the salty sweet taste and the rich flavour of bacon. One to buy again over the next few months and to enjoy with a glass of crisp dry white wine. From most supermarkets £1.99 / 150g, 75p/40g.
We received a Le Micro to review and were also asked to a dinner for the launch of the new Kettle Chip flavour. All opinions our own.