On Good Friday it was my birthday and I treated myself to lunch at Honey & Co which is really lovely. A cute little restaurant, pokey but friendly and pretty familiar seeming to me as it’s the kind of food I often cook. I ate potato & goat’s cheese fritters with thyme and honey, hake and herb cakes in tomato sauce and the best cake I’ve had in aaaaahhaaaaages. Plum, coconut, ground almonds and pistachios. With a candle on top. Next stop was dinner – we went to The Drapers Arms and ate the most incredible sweetbreads and bavette steak and chips. We drank A LOT of wine that day, which was fun.
On Saturday, I cooked a middle eastern feast for friends, then on Monday we dined at a spa we stayed overnight at, Ockenden Manor, where we ate a three course Michelin-starred meal which featured crab lasagne, chicken with pearl barley and a pistachio chocolate brownie, plus some of the best bread I’ve ever eaten.
So you’ll believe me when I say I just needed to come home and eat something a little lighter. I made these veggie bowls with a super quick cheat’s hummus (no overnight soaking of chickpeas here, but I think you can get away with it on these sorts of occasions), a fresh pea puree, grilled veg and a touch of zesty sumac oil. Easy, tasty: dinner sorted.
You will need:
For the hummus:
2 tbspns tahini
2 garlic cloves, or 1 if that’s too much for you
1/2 tspn smoked paprika
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tbspn extra virgin olive oil
Splash of water
Plenty of salt and pepper
For the pea puree:
100g frozen peas, cooked and drained
1 tbspn chopped flat leaf parsley
1 tbspn water
Salt and pepper
For the sumac oil:
1 tspn sumac
2 tbspn extra virgin olive oil
3 portobello mushrooms
10 tenderstem broccoli, thick ones halved
Parsley, to garnish
Olive oil, to grill
1 – Make the hummus. Blend together all the ingredients for form a chunky paste. Add a littel extra water if you prefer a looser consistency. Don’t over-blend: it’s good to make this hummus with a bit of texture. Check seasoning and set aside.
2 – Make the pea puree. Blitz together all the ingredients to form a smooth puree. Check seasoning and set aside. Make the sumac oil by mixing the oil and sumac together.
3 – Smush (technical term) the hummus around the perimeter of two small serving bowls, then smear a little pea puree on top of the hummus.
4 – Brush the mushrooms with a little olive oil and add to a hot griddle pan – cook on both sides for 2-3 minutes, until nicely softened and char marks show. Season the mushrooms. Meanwhile blanch the broccoli for 2-3 minutes in fast boiling water. Drain the broccoli and season.
5 – Divide the cooked mushrooms and broccoli between the hummus bowls, top with parsley leaves and drizzle over the sumac oil.