30 ml (2 tbsp) sesame oil
small onion, peeled and very finely chopped 2.5-cm (1-inch) piece fresh root
ginger, peeled and crushed 10 ml (2 tsp) soy sauce, or to taste 120 ml (8 tbsp) thick homemade
salt and freshly ground pepper
225 g (8 oz) peeled prawns
225 g (8 oz) white crabmeat, flaked 1 red pepper, cored, seeded and
cucumber, diced 50 g (2 oz) fresh heansprouts few Chinese leaves or lettuce
juice of 1 lime
lime slices and unpeeled prawns, to garnish
- Heat the oil in a small pan, add the onion and ginger and fry gently until soft. Remove from the heat, transfer to a large bowl and leave to cool.
- Stir in the soy sauce and mayonnaise, with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
- Fold prawns and crabmeat gently into mayonnaise mixture, then fold in red pepper, cucumber and bcansprouts. Adjust seasoning, remembering that soy sauce is itself quite salty.
- Meanwhile, shred the Chinese leaves or lettuce and use to line four glass dishes. To serve, pile the cocktail in the centre, then squeeze a little lime juice over each serving. Serve garnished with lime slices and unpeeled prawns.
Begin ahead if soaking dried peas. Using canned peas, total preparation time is 30 minutes
225 g (8 oz) dried chick peas,
soaked overnight, or two 400-g
(14-oz) cans chick peas juice of 2 large lemons
150 ml tahini (paste of finely ground sesame seeds) 60 ml (4 tbsp) olive oil
1-2 garlic cloves, crushed
salt and freshly ground pepper black olives and chopped fresh parsley, to garnish
warm pitta bread, to serve
- If using dried chick peas, drain, place in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for 2 hours or until tender.
- Drain the peas, reserving a little of the liquid. Put them in a blender or food processor, reserving a few for garnish, and gradually add the reserved liquid and the lemon juice, blending well after each addition in order to form a smooth purée.
- Add the tahini paste, oil (reserving 10 ml [2 tbsp) and garlic and season to taste. Blend again until smooth.
- Spoon into a serving dish and sprinkle with the reserved oil, chick peas, and the olives and chopped parsley.
- Hummus -or as it is more correctly called – hummus bi tahina – is a traditional dip from the Middle East, where it is served as part of the mezze.
The mezze course is similar to the French hors d’oeuvre, a collection of savoury titbits designed to titillate the appetite before the main meal is served. In this country you can serve hummus on its own as a starter.
75 ml (5 tbsp) olive oil
15 ml (1 tbsp) white wine vinegar 10 ml (2 tsp) tomato puree
1 large garlic clove, skinned and
7.5 ml (12 tsp) chopped fresh
thyme or basil
salt and freshly ground pepper 175 g (6 oz) button onions, skinned 5 ml (1 tsp) caster sugar 225 g (8 oz) small button
two 400-g (14-oz) cans artichoke
- Make the dressing. Place 45 ml (3 tbsp) oil, vinegar, tomato puree, garlic, thyme and seasoning in a bowl and whisk together.
- Blanch onions in boiling water for 5 minutes; drain well. Heat remaining oil; add onions and sugar and cook for 2 minutes.
- Add mushrooms and toss over J a high heat for a few seconds. Tip contents of pan into dressing. Drain artichoke hearts, rinse and dry.
- Add hearts to dressing and toss together. Cover and chill.