Hummus and sweet potato salad

On a recent trip to London I snacked on a hummus and sweet potato sandwich and found this to be an inspired taste combination. I’ve tried to recreate the flavours in this starter.

The hummus recipe is based on the one in Claudia Roden’s classic, A Book of Middle Eastern Food. I make a batch most weeks (the quantitites given here can easily be doubled or trebled) as it’s handy to keep in the fridge for sandwiches, wraps and dips. Unlike many hummus recipes, this one doesn’t include oil – not needed for the texture as there’s plenty of oil in tahini. And you can always add a splash of oil or dressing later, as I’ve done here, and vary the taste of each mouthful.

Houmous-patate douce

Serves four

2 smallish sweet potatoes (about 400 g or 14 oz)
4 medium new potatoes

For the hummus

50 g (2 oz) dried chickpeas
Juice of a lemon
1 clove of garlic
Salt
5 tbs tahini

For the dressing

2 tbs olive oil
1 tsp black sesame seeds
Pinch of ground cumin
Pinch of salt
A few stems of chives

Soak the chickpeas overnight. Drain, cover with fresh cold water and bring to the boil. Cook gently for about an hour, or until tender. Drain, reserving the cooking liquid.

Process the chickpeas with the lemon juice and enough cooking liquid to make a thinnish paste (save the rest to use as stock).

Crush the garlic in a mortar with a little salt. Stir into the chickpea paste, followed by the tahini, and check to see if more salt is needed. Keep the hummus in the fridge until ready to serve.

Bake the sweet potato at 200°C (Gas 6) for about an hour, or until tender. Allow to cool, then peel. Cut crosswise into slices.

Boil the new potatoes in their skins for about 15 minutes. Peel as soon as they are cool enough to handle. Slice lengthwise.

Arrange the sweet potatoes and new potatoes on individual plates and put a dollop of hummus in the middle of each.

Snip or chop the chives. Toast the sesame seeds in a heavy sauté pan until they start to pop.

Combine all the dressing ingredients in a small screw-top jar and shake well. Pour over the salad, decorate with the seeds and chives, and serve with some crusty bread or crispbread.

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3 Responses to “Hummus and sweet potato salad”

  1. Thank you so much, I enjoy reading about other vegetarians as it gives me the strength to continue. I have about a thousand vegetarian feeds in my google reader, but I’m sure another can’t hurt!! I did manage to find a good lentil recipe here, but I’ll be sure to try yours too. Thanks!

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