Red pepper hummus

I’m having the leftovers of last weekend’s tagine tonight, but I want to make a side dish and I’ve got a couple of hours this afternoon to kill now my enthusiasm for Safe on Netflix has waned, so how about dropping some stuff in a food processor and watching the blades spin round remorselessly until everything’s dead.

I made some hummus on the early May bank holiday weekend, and now here we are at the end of the month with another three days staring into the void. Maybe making hummus on a bank holiday will become a charming and quirky household tradition, like how I always wake up screaming at 4am from a dream where it feels like I’m falling.

There’s tahini left over from that effort, and god knows how many green finger chillis I’ve got to do something with. I want to throw in a red pepper this time to see how that plays out, so I’ve only got a couple of extra things to buy: some flatbreads to dip in it, a lemon, plus I’m out of garlic. I get the train down to Gipsy Hill and walk back to Streatham from there because it’s a nice day and I want the exercise, picking up the extras on the way back.

When I moved to a place with a decent-sized kitchen and a dishwasher a couple of years ago it opened up a lot of new cooking possibilities, in that I didn’t have to store the food processor in its box on top of the cupboards and go through the ACTUAL HELL of unpacking it every time, plus it doesn’t create a load of mess I have to wash up by hand. Knowing this makes me far happier at the prospect of making things which involve a bit of blitzing.

And blitzing is all this is: tahini, olive oil, the lemon’s juice, two garlic cloves, a green chilli, the pepper and a can of chickpeas.


As always, after the first go-around, it needs tasting and adjusting: a lot more salt and a bit of pepper. Around we go again. It’s still stubbornly chunky, despite having been whacked with sharp blades for a good three minutes by now. I add a bit more olive oil and some water to loosen it up a bit. After another spin, it’s obvious I’ve put in too much water and now it’s too runny. This is a crisis.

I look around for something I can add to thicken it a bit. I’ve got another can of chickpeas but adding that would double the volume and dilute the flavour, and I don’t want half a can of chickpeas in the fridge for the next week looking forlorn, like it’s been left at the altar in its clingfilm veil.

Now: there’s some broccoli, and I always have to think of something to do with the stalks as it is. I mean it’s a vegetable, right? How bad could it be? I chop up the trunk and throw it all in for another blitz.


It’s pretty successful, so I jar it up. There’s about enough for two ex-honey jars. Later when eating it with the flatbreads I remember that last time I made hummus I’d put in some paprika, and I think maybe some cumin, which this could really do with. Everything is ruined, and the world is a cold, dark place.

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