One and a half meter lunch at the kitchen table

A friend would come for lunch, which is about the highest possible form of social interaction these days. One person, during the day, at home and diagonally opposite each other at the kitchen table so that there is one and a half meters between them. Like everyone else, I long for evenings with friends in restaurants, with food-you-would-not-make-at-home, (too) much wine and ditto lame talk, and then having a giggle on the street around midnight. at least a quarter of an hour to hug in an attempt to say goodbye. But this is what it is now, and I was looking forward to it.

Precisely because there was no other blow to experience and this would be the highlight of the week for both of us, I wanted to make something extra tasty. Because we love vegetables, a largely vegetable menu was rolled out. We ate a light celeriac soup beforehand. Then hummus with roasted vegetables, dukkah and something I’ll just call salty lemon stuff for lack of an official name. For the espresso I made chocolate truffles. It all tasted great, but that hummus with vegetables and co, my girlfriend thought, really had to be in the newspaper. So voilà.

By now you probably know how to make hummus. But you have hummus and you have really nice hummus. Last August, Jigal Krant, author of the award-winning cookbook TLV, a dozen rules for that. Those who want can still find them in the online archive of the newspaper: Making real hummus, in ten commandments. However, I’m afraid I’m going to ignore his very first rule – never use canned chickpeas.

Of course, if you have the time, you should mainly soak and cook dried chickpeas. And in that case, be sure to read those newspaper lines again; he does something with baking soda and then rubs the peas between two hands to remove the skins. But you can also simply use chickpeas from a can or jar. I think it is much more important to let the food processor run for at least 10, preferably 15 minutes. This makes hummus extremely creamy, just the way you want it.

In this dish, the crunch of the dukkah is contrasted with that bliss. Dukkah is an Egyptian mixture of nuts, seeds and spices. We immediately make a pot of it, because dukkah is at home in more markets. Mixed with some olive oil you can dip bread in it. Or sprinkle it over toast with mashed avocado, or over pumpkin or sweet potato puree. Broadly speaking, it fits over anything that could use a bit of crunch and spiciness.

Feel free to use vegetables other than those mentioned by me. For example, parsley root or salsify instead of parsnip, sweet potato or pumpkin instead of carrot, and yellow or Chioggia beets instead of red. That salted lemon stuff, finally, is meant to freshen things up a bit. (Yeah, we were already busy with lemons last week, but who cares.) You make it by pureeing a whole lemon pickled in salt with harissa. It is sour, salty and spicy at the same time and makes the whole dish light and cheerful in one go. And isn’t that exactly what we need?

Hummus with roasted vegetables, dukkah and salted lemon stuff for 4 persons

For the roasted vegetables:

1 tsp coarse salt; 1 tsp ground cumin;
1 tsp dried thyme;
1 tsp caraway seeds;
3 tbsp olive oil;
3 medium carrots, peeled, cut into pieces that are not too small;
3 parsnips, peeled, cut into pieces that are not too small;
2 – 3 red onions, peeled, cut into 6 – 8 parts;
3 red beets, peeled, cut into 6-8 parts

Heat preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Mix the salt, cumin, thyme, caraway seeds and olive oil.

To prevent all vegetables from turning red, it is best to keep the beets separately. So toss the carrots, parsnips and onions with three quarters of the oil mixture and toss the beets with the rest.

spread the vegetables on a baking tray lined with baking paper, the beets separately from the rest. Roast the vegetables for 50-60 minutes until tender and slightly caramelised. Toss them gently halfway through.

For the hummus:

250 g cooked chickpeas (home-cooked or from a jar or can);
1 garlic clove;
100 g tahin;
juice of ½ – 1 lemon

Doe the chickpeas, garlic, tahini, juice of half a lemon and 1 tablespoon water in the mixing bowl of a food processor. Let it run for a minute. Check whether there is enough moisture in it. Add some extra water if necessary, but keep in mind that you may want to add extra lemon juice later.

Leave now run the machine for 15 minutes (!). Taste and further season the hummus with lemon juice and salt.

For the dukkah:

75 g hazelnuts, roughly chopped;
75 g almonds, coarsely chopped;
2 tbsp sesame seeds;
1 the korianderzaad;
½ tbsp cumin seeds;
½ tbsp nigella seed;
1 tsp dried oregano;
1 tsp dried thyme;
1 tsp aniseed;
1 tsp fennel seed;
1 tsp sumac;
¾ tsp coarse salt;
1 tsp coarsely ground black pepper

Heat preheat the oven to 200 degrees. (You can of course slide the dukkah under the baking tray with vegetables.)

NS all ingredients except the pepper and spread evenly on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Roast in the oven for 10 minutes. Let cool and mix in the pepper.

For the salted lemon stuff:

1 salted lemon (also called pickled, candied, or pickled lemon; available at Mediterranean stores and some supermarkets);
1 – 2 tl harissa;
1.5 tbsp olive oil

cuts coarsely chop the salted lemon and remove the pits. Put the pieces (ie skin and flesh) in the mixing bowl of the food processor, together with 1 tsp harissa and the olive oil, and puree. The mixture does not have to be super smooth.

Trial and add additional harissa if desired.

To serve the dish:

spread Spread the hummus over 4 plates and make a well in the centre. Divide the roasted vegetables on top and drizzle with olive oil.

sprinkle each plate with a spoon of dukkah and serve the salted lemon stuff separately. Serve with warm pitas or other flatbreads.