Two delicious recipes for easy entertaining or snacking this Summer – hummus bowl with crispy north African chickpeas, and tomato, chilli and caraway jam. Post sponsored by Arden's.
I am a snackaholic, I like to graze throughout the day; and while I do have a sweet tooth, I try to keep my snacks on the savoury side so I don't overload on sugar.
Recently, Arden's sent me some of their delectable savoury snacks to try, and provided me with a couple of tantalising recipes to make to serve with them.
Arden's make a range of crackers, breadsticks, biscuits and twists. They live by the motto that taste is king; so when they find something mouth-watering, they don’t meddle with it to make it skinnier or less indulgent.
They go for full-on flavour every time – now that is something that I heartily agree with!
Amongst the goodies I was sent were some lovely Mediterranean tomato and basil twists, which are made with all-butter puff pastry flavoured with tangy yet sweet Mediterranean tomatoes and aromatic basil. They are crisp, light and perfect for dipping!
The recipe that was provided to pair with those was for a hummus bowl with crispy north African chickpeas. I reeeally love my hummus, and I have to say, this was some of the best hummus I have ever eaten!
I could easily have polished off the whole bowl by myself (and I did eat most of it without help...) and it was fabulous with the Mediterranean tomato and basil twists to dunk in it.
To make it, chickpeas are sprinkled with Ras el hanout and roasted until crispy, then sprinkled over a bowlful of hummus (either homemade or shop bought) and topped with rose harissa, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and sliced preserved lemons and green olives.
The combination of the fragrant spices with the creamy hummus and sharp lemon and olives was utterly moreish; I could not stop eating it!
It is a really great recipe for jazzing up some shop-bought hummus to make an impressive yet easy dish that would be perfect for Summer entertaining; or just to have for dinner with Arden's Mediterranean tomato and basil twists and some carrot sticks for dipping.
Hummus Bowl With Crispy North African Chickpeas Recipe:
Hummus Bowl With Crispy North African Chickpeas
- 1 box Arden’s Mediterranean Tomato & Basil Twists
- 400 g (14oz) hummus can be homemade or shop-bought
- 1 x 210g (7.5oz) tin chickpeas
- 1 tsp Ras el hanout
- 1 Tbsp rose harissa
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 1 preserved lemon sliced
- 1 handful green olives sliced
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Drain the chickpeas and pat dry with some kitchen paper. Place the chickpeas on a baking tray and drizzle with a little olive oil, sprinkle over the Ras el hanout and season generously. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes until crispy
- Spoon the hummus onto a plate or shallow bowl, take a large spoon with a round base, using the base of the spoon create a hollow in the middle ready to fill with your chickpeas.
- Scatter the chickpeas, preserved lemon and green olives into the middle of the hummus bowl. Drizzle generously with extra virgin olive oil and dollop over the rose harissa. Serve with the Arden’s Mediterranean Tomato & Basil Twists.
Tomato, Chilli And Caraway Jam:
I was also sent some Lockerbie cheddar and caramelised onion chutney bites; which are buttery, melt-in-the-mouth biscuits flavoured with rich Lockerbie cheddar and sweet caramelised onion chutney. The recipe provided to pair with them was for tomato, chilli and caraway jam.
The jam is sweet, tangy, smokey and spicy; it is the perfect accompaniment for the buttery Lockerbie cheddar and caramelised onion chutney bites and slices of creamy cheese. It works wonderfully with pretty much all cheeses but I think I liked it best with brie.
To make the perfect cheeseboard, include no more than 3-4 cheeses of contrasting flavours and textures – cheddar, brie and stilton is a classic combination.
Keep the cheese at room temperature and serve with a good bottle of light red wine, some Arden's crackers, and the tomato, chilli and caraway jam.
As well as going great with cheese; the jam is also delicious in sandwiches or pasties; and it keeps really well so it would also make a lovely home-made gift.
As it also happens to be National Picnic Week this week and the weather seems reasonable at the moment; both of these recipes would also be perfect for packing up and taking picnicking!
The jam is easy to make and doesn't require the use of a thermometer. You start by roasting plum tomatoes, chillies and garlic until soft and lightly charred, then pulse them in a blender until roughly chopped.
Fry some red onion until golden then add the tomato chilli mixture, brown sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, smoked paprika and caraway seeds.
Tie half a lime, some bay leaves, sliced ginger and cumin seeds up in a piece of muslin and add that to the pan too.
Simmer the jam until well reduced and when you drag a wooden spoon through the mixture it leaves a clear trail on the bottom of the pan – that's how you know it's done.
Tomato, Chilli And Caraway Jam
- 1 box Arden’s Lockerbie Cheddar & Caramelised Onion Chutney Bites
- 500 g (18 oz) fresh plum tomatoes
- 4 cloves garlic
- 8 red jalapeno chilli peppers
- extra virgin olive oil
- 270 g (about 3 small) red onions
- 2 Tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 120 ml (½ cup) red wine vinegar
- 200 g dark brown soft sugar
- 1 Tbsp caraway seeds
- 2 tsp coriander seeds
- ½ lime
- 2 bay leaves
- 5cm piece fresh ginger
- Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6. Remove the stems from the chillies and cut in half length ways (you can remove the seeds if you would like the jam to be less spicy.). Repeat with the tomatoes.
- Dice the onions, peel the ginger and cut into slices, lightly toast the coriander seeds until fragrant.
- Put the tomatoes, chillies and garlic cloves (leave the skin on) in a roasting tray and drizzle with 20ml extra virgin olive oil, roast in the oven for 25 minutes. Once roasted, pop the garlic cloves from their skins and add everything to a blender along with the soy sauce, pulse until roughly chopped.
- Place the ginger, coriander seeds, ½ lime and 2 bay leaves in the centre of a square of muslin, tie with kitchen string to form a bag.
- Add 2 tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil to a large, wide, shallow pan over a low heat and sauté the onions until tinged golden.
- Add the tomato and chilli mixture along with the sugar, red wine vinegar, caraway seeds and spice bag, bring the boil stirring regularly.
- Reduce the heat and simmer for 30-40 minutes or until the chutney is well reduced down and when you drag a wooden spoon through the mixture it leaves a clear trail across the bottom of the pan.
- Squeeze the muslin bag to extract as much of the flavour as possible then discard it.
- Spoon into sterilised jars and store in a cool, dark place. Serve with a cheeseboard and the Lockerbie cheddar and caramelised onion chutney bites.
This post is sponsored by Arden's, thank you for supporting the brands that allow me to continue doing what I love – playing with food and making a mess of my kitchen.