Saturday 21 September 2019

Donal Skehan's chickpea taste blitz

Morrocan chickpea burger
Morrocan chickpea burger
Beetroot Hummus
Pomegranate Molasses
Green Kitchen Travels

Donal Skehan

Banish the bland meat-free burger forever and put the pizazz into a feast with this delicious hummus.

Beetroot Hummus with Home-made Flatbreads

Choosing recipes which are easy to prepare, can be made ahead and taste fantastic is an important part of a successful celebration feast. This beetroot hummus is a great example of this. The humble beetroot can be transformed into something quite unusual with tastes from the Middle East and served as a dip with home-made flatbreads.

Serves 6

For the beetroot hummus

4 beetroots, cooked

250g chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 garlic clove, roughly chopped

2 teaspoons of ground cumin

2 tablespoons of pomegranate molasses, plus extra to drizzle

1 tablespoon of tahini

Juice of 1 lemon

Sea salt and ground black pepper

2 tablespoons of sesame seeds, toasted, to serve

For the flatbreads

500g bread flour, plus extra for dusting

2 x 7.5g sachet of easy-blend dried yeast

1 teaspoon of sea salt, plus extra to sprinkle

2 tablespoons of nigella seeds or poppy seeds

350ml of tepid water

1 tablespoon of honey

1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for oiling

Dried polenta, to sprinkle

1 egg, lightly beaten

For the beetroot hummus

Blitz all the ingredients, except for the sesame seeds, together in a food processor until smooth. Season with sea salt and black pepper and add a little more lemon juice to taste if required. Spoon into a serving bowl. Drizzle with pomegranate molasses, chopped beetroot and sprinkle with sesame seeds to serve.

For the flatbreads

In a large bowl, combine the flour, easy-blend yeast, salt and seeds. Make a well in the flour and pour in the water, honey and olive oil. Using your fingertips, slowly bring the flour in from the sides and continue to mix until a rough dough forms. Turn the dough out on a floured work surface and knead for about 5 minutes. If the dough is too sticky add a little extra flour until it becomes smooth.

Form the dough into a ball and place in an oiled bowl. Cover with a damp tea towel or cling film and set aside in a warm spot for about 45 minutes or until it has doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 220°C. Punch the dough down on a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into 8-12 pieces and roll out into rounds as thinly as possible. Sprinkle polenta on to a baking sheet or pizza stone which has been preheated in the oven and place a flat bread on it.

Brush with a little beaten egg and bake in the oven for 5-8 minutes or until puffed up and golden. Repeat with the remaining dough and keep warm before serving with the beetroot hummus to dip.

Moroccan Chickpea Burgers

Veggie burgers get such a bad rap because nine times out of 10, they are pretty underwhelming. I love a burger as much as the next guy but every now and again I like to mix things up, and these chickpea burgers are my go-to recipe when it comes to meat-free burgers.

Serves 4-6

Ingredients 1 x 400g tin of chickpeas, drained and rinsed

60g breadcrumbs

2 tablespoon tahini paste or smooth peanut butter

1 large free-range egg

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground cumin

6 spring onions, chopped

2 tablespoon rapeseed oil

150g natural yoghurt

1 teaspoon garam masala

Sea salt and ground black pepper

Wholegrain pitta breads, salad leaves and grated carrot, to serve


Place half the chickpeas in a food processor with the breadcrumbs, tahini paste, egg, coriander and cumin and blitz until smooth. Remove the blade and stir through the remaining chickpeas and the spring onions. Season with sea salt and ground black pepper.

Form the mixture into four 10cm (4in) burgers by hand or using a burger press. Place on a plate and cover, leaving to sit in the fridge for at least two hours to firm up.

Place a large frying pan over a medium-high heat and add the oil. Fry the burgers in the pan for 5-6 minutes on each side, until they have a nice golden colour.

In a small bowl, mix the yoghurt with the garam masala. Toast and split some wholegrain pitta breads. Serve the warm burgers in the pitta breads with the spiced yoghurt, salad leaves and grated carrot.

Pomegranate Molasses

Pomegranate molasses is a sweet syrup made from concentrated pomegranate juice and sugar, and is used a lot in Middle Eastern cooking. It is a delicious addition to my beetroot hummus and really cuts the earthy beetroot flavour. There are lots of other uses for this sweet syrup: whisk it into salad dressings, stir into cocktails, brush onto meat as a glaze or even whipped into dips and relishes. Pick it up in most Asian supermarkets. It will last you ages as a little goes a long way!

Sinful but saintly

If you haven't come across Susan Jane White before, you are in for a sugar free treat! With the success of her first book, The Extra Virgin Kitchen, SJW is back and this time she has something for all you sweet tooths out there. But rather than the usual sugary, buttery recipes we are used to seeing, The Virtuous Tart is packed full of guilt-free treats that fuel your body and mind. If you think healthy desserts are a total myth, this book will prove you wrong. In all good bookshops,


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