Sweet, silky heat-Beetroot and wasabi houmous
For someone who has typically felt unruffled by change, I am experiencing a lot of it at the moment. I was having a conversation with a loved one, in my head the other day. I was telling them that I am looking forward to getting up there, in front of an academic group of grown-ups listening to me with notes before them and grit in the heart, sleep in the eyes. Then I told them that my loved one that I couldn’t believe that I just said that. It has been years since I looked forward to any activity of that kind. I am also looking forward to teaching my next three cookery classes. I am going to admit to something I haven’t reflected on in years.
A few years ago a neighbour knocked on my door. She has a sweet smile and very kind eyes, but I was still unsure. I didn’t see Asian ladies of her later years with a boyish grey mop, so when she spoke, very gently, kindly and eloquently it made a bit more sense. I now know that my neighbour is a retired GP and a helpful Christian. I see her on walks delivering eggs and milk to those less mobile than her and I listen to her as she tells me how her grandchildren are developing and how she is particularly fond of, ‘the boy’ as he is so affectionate.
Back then my neighbour asked me if I would teach some cookery on a charitable basis at the Church, on a weekday. I sighed inside and with great guilt I confessed how stretched I was. A full time job, a home that wasn’t yet developed…you know all of the rest. I told her that when I stopped for the baby I would be very glad to. ‘I understand’ she said, glowing in her tiny frame. Smaller than me.
She understood but now I look back I am not sure I do. Now I have less money but more humility. Less time but more love. Less greed and more of a sense of that I am not immortal and more of a drive to make it count. I am not saying that I am a better person now. What I have committed to is some more regular cookery for a charitable purpose alongside the other classes.
Meanwhile my son has gone from an angelic and sparky 2 ¼ year old to something of a teenager. Literally overnight. So, as you can see, it is time to open a new chapter whilst ingesting the sweet heat of my life as it is. On the subject of sweet heat…here is my recipe for beetroot and wasabi hummus or houmous. The beet gives a mellow and easy sweetness, as life should be. The wasabi gives a gentle background heat that pops just at the end of the experience, just like my toddler is offering me right now. Altogether we have some balance and I like to suck it up with lashings of breadsticks. Life. Houmous. Same.
1 can of drained chickpeas
250g cooked beetroot, roughly chopped
1 can kidney beans, drained
¾ cup tahini
2 cloves of garlic, minced or finely chopped
4 tbsp. lemon juice
3 tbsp. ice cold water
Salt to taste
4 heaped tsp. wasabi paste (or more if you like it hotter)
1 ½ tbsp. olive oil
- Combine all of the ingredients except the wasabi and olive oil and blitz together in a food processor.
- When the ingredients look smooth and silky, add 1 tbsp. olive oil and the wasabi paste and blitz again.
- Use a fork to smooth the houmous and remove any lumps of wasabi paste.
- Transfer the houmous into a bow and drizzle with a little oil