marilyn’s dips

>Marilyn is an interesting woman, the PA for the Chairman of the London Ambulance Service. When you meet her first she appears incredibly sophisticated and urbane. However this polished veneer hides a wicked sense of humour, and a glass of wine or two usually unleashes an uproarious laugh worthy of a fishwife.

Here are some of her favourite things to have on the table as you drink.

Hoummus b’Tahini

Makes approx 3 cups Make sure you leave enough time to soak the chickpeas overnight – or use tinned, they are just as good.

1 1/2 cups chick peas, soaked overnight
2 tsp salt
approx 2 cloves garlic
3/4 cup tahini (white, slightly bitter sesame paste – obtained from food stores or delis and keeps indefinitely)
1/2 cup lemon juice
pinch cayenne and 2 tbs chopped parsley to garnish

Drain soaked chickpeas, place in pot, add 3 times their amount of water. Add 1 tsp salt and boil vigorously for about 10 minutes, turn heat down, cover saucepan and simmer about an hour until they are very soft. Drain liquor (keep liquor) and reserve.

Reserve a few whole cooked chick peas for garnish. Puree remainder. Crush garlic with remaining teaspoon salt, add to puree. Slowly beat in tahini and lemon juice alternately. Blend in little of the reserved cooking liquid to make mixture creamy consistency. Adjust salt and lemon.

Baba Ghannouj

1 large eggplant
1/4 cup lemon juice
4-5 tbs tahini
2 cloves garlic
1 1/2 tsp salt

Either roast eggplant in hot oven until soft and outside blackened (15-20 minutes) or hold onto stem and place over open grill turning until the skin is charred. Allow to cool.

Remove skin carefully, mash pulp thoroughly and slowly beat in lemon juice alternately with tahini.Crush garlic with salt and mix to a paste. Blend into eggplant mixture.

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