Hummus Kawarma(ish) w. Fresh Chopped Salad

Don’t let the ingredients list put you off!

Do you ever see a picture of one awesome recipe which then sends your brain down a series of recipe rabbit holes, stitching together flavour cravings from a myriad of different places? Just me? (I suffer from frequent bouts of greedy cow disease…) That was tonight’s dinner. Following an instagram recipe for ‘Hummus with Shawarma Spiced Mushroom Mince’ I started jonseing hard for some Middle Eastern magic. Sadly however, I can’t do mushrooms, so it was game on to create something same, same, but different… in the half hour before dinner.

Faff Factor: 3.5/5 • Flavour: 4.5/5 • Fridge-to-face: 30 mins

Recipe a mash-up inspired by an instagram post, Ottolenghi’s ‘Jerusalem’, Gwyneth Paltrow’s ‘It’s All Easy’ and Anglea Liddon’s ‘Oh She Glows Every Day’.

(Serves 4)

Tub of store bought hummus

2 cups of cooked chickpeas (canned, or previously cooked & frozen)
Drizzle of oil for roasting (I use grapeseed)
Big pinch of Kawarma spices (below) or Zaatar

1 1/2 cups cooked green lentils (canned, or previously cooked & frozen)
1 lrg. clove garlic
1 cup walnut pieces
1 med. onion
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp cloves
Pinch of salt & coarse ground pepper

1 cup diced celery
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1 cup chopped cucumber
1 med. red pepper chopped
1 small red onion, diced
1 bunch flat leaf parsley
2 cups chopped spinach (any salad greens work here)

Salad Dressing
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tsp dijon mustard
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt & freshly ground black pepper

To Serve (optional)
Pita, warmed through
Crumbled feta
Avocado slices or 1/2 avocado rubbed with oil & grilled
Sweet mango chutney
Any additional protein: fried egg, grilled chicken, salmon etc

1. Turn on the oven to heat at 350. Put a heavy bottomed frying pan on the stove to heat. If using canned lentils and chickpeas, open cans & drain. If using previously cooked and frozen, put each into a separate bowl to defrost (I zap mine in the microwave for a minute)
Make the Kawarma-ish
2. Spread walnuts onto a baking sheet and chuck into the oven while it heats. Set timer for 10-13 minutes. Toast until lightly golden and fragrant. Set aside and cool for a couple of minutes.
3. Finely chop the onion and fry with a little oil on a medium heat.
4. Get out all the Kawarma-ish spices, measure them into a little bowl and mix.
5. Mince the garlic in a food processor. Add the lentils and walnuts and pulse until roughly chopped. Be sure not to over chop (see pic below). Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl. Add spice mix (reserve a big pinch for chickpeas), soy sauce and mix. Add a little water if the mixture is too dry. Add salt & pepper to taste.
6. Add mixture to the frying onions and stir. Again, add a little water if you feel mixture is too dry. Stop before it gets at all mushy.
Make the chickpeas
7. Spread the chickpeas onto the baking sheet you used for the walnuts. Drizzle on some oil, salt and your big pinch of reserved Kawarma-ish spices. If you have, Za’atar works brilliantly here. Put in oven to roast at 350. Set a timer for 15 minutes.
Make the salad
8. Chop the celery, tomatoes, cucumber, red pepper and red onion. Combine in a mixing bowl. Add finely chopped parsley, and roughly chopped spinach.
Make the dressing
9. Put all salad dressing into a jar, make sure the lid is screwed on properly and shake vigorously.
To Serve
10. Dollop a decent serving of hummus onto a plate or bowl, and spread as little way around the edge, creating a well in the middle of the hummus. Add a 1/3 – 1/2 cup of the lentil kawarma mix into the well. Add a pile of salad (approx 1 1/2 cups) to the empty 1/2 of the plate, and drizzle with dressing. (Go lightly, you can always add more). Chickpeas can be piled onto the kawarma-ish, top the salad, or served on the side.

– Anything goes really. Add pickles, olives, chutney, tatziki, feta etc etc…
– Fresh arugula, mandolin sliced cabbage, sprouted lentils, romaine lettuce would all be great salad substitutions / additions.
– If you have the time, home made humous is a treat.
– Again, if you have the time and inclination, Ottolenghi & Tamimi’s ‘Jerusalem’ Lemon Sauce is killer drizzled over the Kawarma-ish.

Faff notes:
– OK, so on first glance this recipe seems like a major faff. However, it was easily doable in 30 minutes, I surprised even myself. It was all about the multi-tasking, surfing the kitchen waves and setting timers! That being said, my spinach was already washed and chopped in a bag in the fridge, my lentils and chickpeas were pre-cooked in the freezer, and my vegetables were already washed in the fridge. Adding these to the equation could well add 5-10 minutes.
– A few dishes, but really nothing too hectic, a one sink affair.

Flavour Notes:
– I’m a huge fan of Middle Eastern food. I love that most dishes can be paired down or zhuzhed as time allows, and as a family we never tire of the fresh flavours. Infinitely tweakable (depending on what’s in the fridge at 6pm on a Tuesday, or who’s at the dinner table).
– The wee one loves this, however, of late, doesn’t like her vegetables touching (I mean, who does?…), so I tend to chuck a little handful of each onto a plate as I’m chopping, then drizzle with dressing. (But it definitely isn’t a salad, nope, no salad here.)
– I tend to dress the salad once on plates as this prevents any lunch leftovers going soggy overnight. Leftovers, ha!

Pulsed lentils & walnuts
Kawarma & roasted chickpeas

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