A wet and windy day last November brought a group of my family and friends to Bath for an impromptu trip around the famous Christmas market. We neglected to book a restaurant in advance and found ourselves wandering, starving hungry, pressing our noses up against restaurant windows like starving Victorian street children, watching affluent diners enjoying sumptuous meals. But suddenly we stumbled upon a tiny French concept restaurant called Champagne + Fromage (was there ever a better name for an eaterie?) on their opening day. We took our table and a starter portion of their house Artichoke hummus was placed under the nose of my 10 year old daughter who was dropping with hunger. Usually a fussy madam, she troughed threw the lot with the aid of a fresh baguette and has been demanding more ever since. We have failed so far, so this weekend, having been invited to friends for dinner (and instructed to bring some nibbles) we gave it a shot.
Surprisingly quick and easy, made mostly of store cupboard ingredients, this hummus style dip has gone down very well. So, so easy and flavoursome, you’ll never buy shop hummus again.
I served with fresh organic crudités and pitta chips. The organic element is worth sourcing here as they taste so much better. Vibrant, peppery radishes, crispy pepper slices and sweet young carrots beat the pitta chips hands down.
Lemon & Artichoke Hummus Dip – serves 8
Juice of two lemons
Zest of one lemon
1 x 400g can of chick peas, drained
1 x 400g can/jar of artichoke hearts (mine came in olive oil), drained
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
6 tbsp tahini
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp sea salt flakes
5/6 tbsp water
generous twists of black pepper
Drain the chick peas and artichokes in a sieve or colander and add to a food processor with the remainder of the ingredients. Blast until smooth. Tentatively add some more olive oil if you think it needs it, or to suit your taste.
Refrigerate until you need to serve, then drizzle with some more oil and add any garnish of your choice – herbs, chilli flakes, lemon zest or chopped artichoke are all good.
Happy, healthy munching!