Give peas a chance with this summery whipped dip

Lilly Higgins: Whipped Pea Dip with Quick Dukkah

 

This time of year it’s all about great produce. Farmers’ markets, shop aisles and even for some of us, our gardens, are bursting with an abundance of just-ripened produce. Very little has to be done to a new baby carrot in comparison to a stored winter one. No need to add it to a bubbling pot of beef bourguignon when all you need do is wash it and serve.

I like to spend warm summer days outside and only breeze into the kitchen to gather food from the fridge. No one wants to be stuck in a hot kitchen all day so I’m making up batches of hummus, dips, light soups and keeping it mostly plant based.

This deliciously light pea dip is the perfect example. Make it on a Sunday night and enjoy it all through the week. Kids love it due to its sweet light taste. I use it as a spread in sandwiches or serve it alongside fresh fish. Surrounded by seasonal vegetables like this would make a lovely meal for two or is perfect to place on the table at a barbecue or summer gathering.

I love dukkah, the Egyptian sprinkles that add so much flavour and crunch to each dish it touches. There is usually a mix of freshly ground spices like coriander and cumin with sesame seeds, nuts (I use either hazelnuts or pistachios) and sometimes dried herbs like mint or thyme. I usually just sprinkle it on anything that could benefit from a burst of spice and some texture, but it’s ideal as a dip for bread with some grassy olive oil or use as a crust for fish or lamb. For another quick and effortless summer dinner just roast a selection of vegetables including wedges of red onion, peppers, cherry tomatoes and butternut squash. Scatter with crumbled feta, fresh herbs and dukkah, then serve. I usually try to make a big jar every few weeks, toasting all the herbs and grinding them, making it as fresh as possible. But when I’ve run out I use this basic version that can be assembled in minutes.

If you’re lucky enough to have your own peas in the garden then this dip would be a lovely thing to make with them. Frozen peas are ideal too. I’ve used mint for its freshness and some sweet aromatic basil. Or use plenty of coriander and some chili flakes to make a gorgeous version of this dip that tastes amazing with lamb chops.

RECIPE

Serves: 2
Cooking Time: 1 mins
Course: Starter
​​​​​​​Cuisine: Irish

Ingredients

  • Serves 2-6
  • 250g peas, fresh or frozen
  • 10g basil leaves
  • 10g mint leaves
  • Zest and juice of ½ lemon
  • Salt
  • For the dukkah:
  • 50g hazelnuts, toasted and skins removed
  • 25g toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp nigella seeds
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp dried mint
  • To serve: Chili oil, raw vegetables like carrot, radicchio, peppers, radish etc

Method

If the peas are frozen then pour boiling water over them and leave to defrost for a minute or two. Drain over the sink. Place the peas, basil, mint, lemon zest and juice into a food processor or high-speed blender. I use the NutriBullet. Blitz till quite smooth but still retaining some texture. Season to taste.

To make the dukkah simply chop the toasted hazelnuts quite finely and place in a jar. Add the sesame and nigella seeds, salt, pepper, cumin and mint. Place the lid on and shake well to combine.

Drizzle the hummus with a little chili or olive oil, scatter with the dukkah and serve with fresh raw vegetables and crusty bread.

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