This was literally a Sunday night experiment which arose out of necessity for something satisfying and light after an afternoon of drinking Spritz and eating crostini. It is inspired, in a large part, by Nigella Lawson’s Beef and Aubergine Fatteh, a sort of Middle Eastern nacho situation where a warm spiced beef and eggplant concoction is spooned over toasted and broken up pita bread then topped with a warm tahini-spiked natural yogurt then topped with pomegranate seeds. I had lamb mince in the fridge and little motivation to grab the cookbook from the other room, so I improvised.
I posted the pictures on my instagram account and have had a number of requests for the recipe for the hummus, the lamb, and the hummus and lamb. So for those who have asked, this one is for you! Usually I take process photographs of every food experiment, just in case they make it to the blog, but I didn’t this time. Fortunately, the steps are so easy you shouldn’t need step-by-step illustrations, but a food processor will definitely make your life easier!
LOADED HUMMUS WITH GROUND LAMB, EGGPLANT AND POMEGRANATE
For the Hummus
- 2 x 400g cans chickpeas, drained
- 4 Tablespoons tahini
- 4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1/2 cup water
- salt, to taste (optional)
For the Lamb
- 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 brown onion, diced
- 500g lamb mince
- 1 eggplant, cut into 1cm cubes
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 pomegranate
- Flat leaf parsley
- 1/3 cup flaked or slivered almonds
- 1/4 cup pepitas
- 4 – 5 large pita bread
- Make the hummus by putting all ingredients except the water and oil into a food processor. Start to blitz and add oil in a steady stream while still blitzing. Then add the water slowly until you have reached the desired consistency (you may not need all the water). Check for taste and season with salt if you need.
- Spray both sides of the pita bread with oil and grill until it turns golden and crispy. Break up the bread into shards and set aside to cool or keep warm in the oven if you prefer.
- Heat 2 Tablespoons of oil in a large non-stick pan, then add the onion and a pinch of salt. Fry until the onion softens but before it browns.
- Add the eggplant and continue fry, stirring often, until the eggplant soften and starts to take on a golden colour. Add a splash more oil if the mixture is too dry.
- Add the spices and toss through to coat the onion and eggplant. Fry for 1 minute or until the spices become fragrant.
- Add the lamb and fry with the eggplant, onions and spices, breaking up the lumps with a fork. Fry for 5 – 10 mins over medium-high heat or until the juices in the pan have rendered leaving a glossy but dry mix. Check for flavour and adjust spices or season with salt and pepper.
- Spread the hummus over a large serving dish or platter. Sprinkle with the lamb and eggplant mix.
- In the same pan that you cooked the lamb in, toss the almonds and pepitas over high heat scraping up any spices, oil or flavour from the lamb mix and until the almonds start to turn golden. Sprinkle the almonds and pepitas over the lamb. Drizzle everything with a little more extra virgin olive oil.
- Cut the pomegranate in half and with the back of a wooden spoon, whack the pomegranate skin with the back of a wooden spoon to release the seeds and sprinkle these all over the lamb and hummus. There is good therapy in this step!
- Coarsely shred some flat leaf parsley and garnish the dish. Serve warm with the shards of pita bread as an appetiser for many, or as a supper in its own right for 2 – 4!