We sat under a pomegranate tree for shade. Our table was dappled with the shapes of leaves and ripening fruit as the sun played with the gentle breeze to create moving patterns that could never be captured. Laid across its white cloth were several large hand-painted plates and bowls within which vibrant food beckoned invitingly; a dreamy colour palette of seduction. From the taboon came an endless supply of thin flatbreads drenched in fruity Palestinian olive oil and the ubiquitous za’atar. ‘El-‘ein elly btoakel’, she said ‘the eye is the one that eats. So eat!’. She placed before me a bowl of this sumptuous hummus along with the recipe written – in Arabic – on the back of a label torn off a can of olives made rusty with age.
x2 400g tin chickpeas, drained
2-3 tbsp light tahini
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1-2 lemons, juiced
x2 garlic cloves
1 tsp dried wild oregano, plus extra for garnishing
Generous pinch of cumin
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to your taste
Sumac, for garnishing
How I make it
Place all the ingredients in a food processor and blend slowly adding warm water until you achieve your preferred consistency. Then adjust to taste adding more tahini and lemon juice until you achieve the balance that you like. Season well.
Turn the hummus into a beautiful bowl, drizzle with olive oil and garnish with sumac and a scattering of dried oregano (here I’ve topped it with my slow-roasted aubergine and red onion salad).