Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter, Light Meals

Spiced ‘Mince’ Hummus Platter

I adore sharing platters, and believe anything served in mounds in the middle of the table can only end in joy.

The number of toppings you can add to a creamy bowl of hummus is endless, but a new favourite of mine is this spicy vegan mince. It's heady with cumin and garlic, and warm and spicy with harissa paste. Some harissas are ferociously hot, so the one tablespoon I've suggested here is simply a guide – try yours first, and use as little or as much as you like!

This dish is suitable for all seasons, and can be simply adapted by changing up the dishes you serve alongside it – feel free to add a big mixed salad, some hearty grains, or a tomato salad to the table if you're turning it into a feast.

SERVES:
4

Ingredients

For the mince

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp harissa paste

1 clove garlic, grated

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tbsp tomato purée

200g vegan mince

250ml vegetable stock

For the cucumber salad

½ cucumber, or 6 small Lebanese cucumbers, cut lengthways, deseeded and diced

Small bunch dill, roughly chopped

Small bunch flatleaf parsley, roughly chopped

Juice of ½ lemon

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

For the hummus

600g canned or jarred chickpeas, drained and rinsed

½ cup light tahini

1 clove garlic, roughly chopped

Juice of ½ lemon

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

½ tsp sea salt

To serve

4 flatbreads

Few sprigs dill and parsley

Sesame seeds (optional)

A drizzle of extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

  1. Place a small non-stick frying pan on a medium-low heat, and add the olive oil, harissa paste, grated garlic and cumin seeds. Cook gently, stirring regularly, until warmed and fragrant.
  2. Add the tomato purée and vegan mince, and stir well to combine. Gradually add the vegetable broth a little at a time to loosen the mince, adding more once the last splash has been absorbed. The mince is ready when it's moist, but not too wet – you may not need to use all of the stock.
  3. Season with a good grind of fresh black pepper and a little sea salt, cover with a lid, and turn the heat down to low while you prepare the rest of the dish.
  4. To make the cucumber salad, place all the ingredients in a bowl along with a pinch of sea salt and a good grind of black pepper, stir to combine, and set aside.
  5. Add the ingredients for the hummus to a blender, and blitz on high until smooth. Keeping the motor running, add a little bit of water a splash at a time, until you reach your preferred consistency. Taste for seasoning, and adjust accordingly by adding more salt, lemon or tahini.
  6. When you're ready to serve, warm the flatbreads, and spread the hummus across a large platter. Top with the spicy mince, cucumber salad and some extra sprigs of dill and parsley. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, if using, and drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil.
  7. Place the platter in the centre of the table and let everyone tuck in!

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