Peanut Butter Hummus

At the moment I’m sitting at the table at home in Tauranga, having my morning cup of tea and a piece of toast.  I’ve been very busy the last week or so getting ready and packed up to leave Wellington – and finally I made it!  Last week, I went to my friend’s house for a movie and dinner, and made some more dip (see my Pumpkin Dip) to take.  Because I was moving out of my house, I didn’t want to buy any new ingredients, and wanted to use up what was in my cupboard.  I had a can of chickpeas, so I thought that I would make hummus…  Instead of tahini, I put in a few spoons of peanut butter (I know, not quite comparable), and it tasted great!  Here it is all ready to be carried up the hill to my friend’s house:

I put in it:

– One can of chickpeas, drained

– Garlic, finely chopped (not too much, it’s not being cooked, so it’s very garlicky!)

– Olive oil

– Few spoons of peanut butter (crunchy!)

You can add any other flavours you want to – basically just zizz up the chickpeas, and add enough oil to make it a nice consistency.  Keep adding bits and pieces and experimenting until you get the flavour you want.  I made focaccia bread to go with it, with sliced lemons, chopped olives, and cheese on top (using up all my food again, it made a nice combination!).

Pumpkin, Caramelised Onion, Feta and Cashew Dip

I am sitting outside this lovely Sunday morning.  It seems that it’s been raining, because the deck is wet, and there are stormy clouds in the sky.  But!  It’s warm!  It’s actually warm!  Even though the sun isn’t out, there is a definite warmth to the air, which means that spring is well underway!  How exciting.

Last night I went to my friend’s house for dinner, and as we both agreed that chips and dip are a good group, I was tasked to be in charge of that.  My sister had sent me an email a wee while back with a description of what she had made and was eating (not unusual).  She had made a pumpkin dip.  I’d never even really thought of making my own dips, but how easy!  Also a great way to use up bits and pieces of ingredients.  I am just going to put approximate quantities, since really I just made it up as I went along.  The base, of course, is pumpkins.

  • Pumpkin, about 1/8 th of one
  • 1/3 cup of well cooked brown rice (Fern’s idea to make it a good dippy consistancy)
  • 2 smallish onions
  • Brown sugar, a few tablespoons
  • Small amount of vinegar (balsamic would be best, although i used wine vinegar because I didn’t have any balsamic)
  • Garlic, chopped
  • Feta cheese
  • about 1/2 a cup of cashew nuts
  • salt

Cook the brown rice – go for overcooked rather than still al dente.

Roast the pumpkin in the oven with some olive oil, and any herbs and spices that you might like to add.  I just left the skins on the pumpkin, since they go quite soft, and everything is going to be zizzed up anyway.

Caramelise the finely chopped onions in a pan – fry until soft and then add brown sugar and a splash of vinegar.  Continue cooking until they are really quite soft.  Add the brown rice and some garlic into the pan, and mix it all up (leave some garlic aside to add raw).  Cool, and put into a blender (I have my sister’s stick mixer, which is amazing).  Zizz up until it’s quite smooth, but this doesn’t matter too much.  It depends on how textured you want your dip to be.  Add the cooled pumpkin, crumbled feta, some raw garlic and zizz some more!  Add some salt to taste, if you want.

Transfer the pumpkin mixture to another bowl, and then zizz up the cashew nuts in the blender, or whatever you are using (I guess you could do this by hand, finely chopping/mashing everything).  I used salted cashews, because it was what I had, but in the end it’s a very “go by taste” recipe, so add anything in that you think would work for you.

Finally, mix the cashew nuts in with the pumpkin mixture, and you’ve got one mighty tasty dip.  Just on a side note, Doritos, though they taste amazing, do not work well with this dip, they don’t hold up to the thickness of it.  Make sure you get a corn chip that can handle your dip…  Mine is garnished with paprika and coriander.

And just for another pretty picture, I discovered that we have a big lavender bush in our back yard (or what passes for a back yard anyway) when I was checking out my vege garden yesterday.  My vege garden is going well, although I leave Wellington in a few weeks, so I’m not sure I’ll get to enjoy the vegetables of my labour…  Maybe a miniature salad with lettuce, spinach, and teeny tiny carrots?