Coriander hummus and creamy mushroom dip

April 20, 2012

Serve alongside drinks with toasted flatbread, tortilla chips or
mini garlic bread-scotti

This is a really quick easy pair of dips you can whip up from store cupboard and basic fridge ingredients should you have people drop by for a drink. Serve up with crudités, toasted flat bread or mini garlic bread-scotti for a simple, casual spread of drink complimenting nibbles.

Hummus recipe:

1 can of chickpeas
3 tbsp tahini, I use Al'fez, if you can't get tahini then crush 3 tbsp of sesame seeds in a pestle and mortar with a splosh of sesame oil
2 tsp finely chopped garlic
a few good lugs of olive oil
1 lemon
1 handful of fresh coriander
salt and pepper

Mushroom dip recipe:

6 large mushrooms, closed cap/chestnut etc
3 tbsp creme fraiche
1 tsp finely chopped garlic
splash balsamic vinegar
2 tsps tarragon, I use this a lot so have massive stocks of dried tarragon which i have used for this recipe but fresh would also be lovely
1/2 red onion
salt and pepper

To make the hummus, your life will be made infinitely easier if you have a food processor, otherwise a sharp knife and a potato masher are your tools.

Empty the can of chickpeas, minus the water, into a food processor or large bowl, dollop on the tahini or your home made sesame paste, sprinkle over the garlic and lug in the olive oil. Blend or mash this together until they are well combined, now taste the mix and season with loads of lemon juice and salt and pepper, blend or mash until mixed and taste again. If you are using a food processor, throw in the coriander and blend for a few seconds so the herbs are mixed in but not pulverised. If you are using a bowl and masher, roughly cut the herbs, sprinkle over and mix in with a spoon so as not to crush the herbs too much, this will make them go black. when well mixed taste and re season with more salt, pepper and lemon then dollop out onto a shallow plate to allow for scooping and drizzle with oil oil.

To make the mush dip, again a food processor makes the whole thing a lot quicker but the same results can be achieved with a good knife and some well practised knife skills.

Chop or food process the mushrooms until their are finely chopped, tumble these into a hot pan with a little oil and your garlic and fry for 10 mins until really reduced and rich. Splosh in the balsamic vinegar which should bubble and quickly reduce to a sweet, sticky dressing over the mushrooms. Sprinkle over the tarragon and give the whole mixture a few stirs until its all mixed in and the  tarragon has warmed, this will help it release its flavour. Turn the heat out under the pan and move the pan to a cool hob, spoon in the creme fraiche and mixed in well, leave to cool before tasting and seasoning with salt and pepper as the flavour will deepen and develop as the dip cools down.

To serve sprinkle over some chopped or sliced rings of red onion, this sharp, sweet contrast to the rich creamy mushroom dip is really delicious.

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