Froumous!!! That’s Frozen Houmous to you…

Some of the best recipe/foodie ideas are undoubtedly discovered by accident. Er, like fire. And alcohol. Not that we were actually there when either of these things were invented.
Anyway, thus it was that a long day combined with inadequate coffee comsumption found us absent-mindedly popping some houmous into the freezer (this is nothing – we’ve found our iron in the fridge before now).
Hmm. Frozen houmous. Is it, like, edible? Well, surprisingly, yes. And it is quite extraordinarily versatile. Although you can’t actually defrost it again and serve it as houmous as it will end up slightly curdled and watery.
You could just serve a couple of scoops with some crudites embedded in the top thereof: sprinkle it with parsley and you have a houmous sundae already.
You could hide little scoops of it inside your falafel just before you fry them, creating a sort of Veggiestani Baked Alaska, so that when your guests bite into each croquette they get a melting houmous surprise. But you will have to wait until October 6th when Veggiestan is published to get our master recipe for falafel….
But best of all we like this salad.

Frivolous Froumous Salad
This sees frozen houmous balls rolled in sizzling spiced seeds and tossed into a sharp fattoush type salad.
Ingredients (to make a starter for 4):

  • 150g houmous, frozen (if you are using homemade, add extra oil/tahina to make it more elastic)
  • 4-5 really super tomatoes
  • half a cucumber
  • 1 medium onion
  • around 150g olives (you choose the colour)
  • 1-2 fresh green chillies, finely chopped (optional)
  • 1/2 bunch fresh coriander, chopped
  • juice and zest of two limes
  • drizzle of posh olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 pitta bread
  • drizzle of less posh olive oil (extra virgin is no good for frying)
  • 2 teaspoons of za’atar
  • 50g seeds/nuts: any mixture of cracked coriander, sesame, pumpkin, sunflower, hemp, crushed hazelnuts, chopped pistachios or chopped pine nuts will do

Okey cokey. Firstly get your houmous out of the freezer to soften everso slightly.
Next make the ‘salad’: finely dice the tomatoes, cucumber and onion and place them in a bowl. Add the olives, chilli, lime juice + zest and olive oil, and then mix and season to taste. Pop it in the fridge until you are ready.
Toast the pitta bread lightly, split it and cut it into 1″ squares. Fry these in the less posh olive oil before draining on a piece of kitchen towel. Heat a little more oil in the pan, add the za’atar, and then spoon in the seeds and nuts, turning them constantly so that they don’t catch and burn. Sizzle for a couple of minutes before tipping them on to a plate.
Using a melon baller or pointy teaspoon, take little spheres of the froumous and roll them in the hot seed mix before tossing them gently into the salad.
Serve immediately garnished with the pitta bread ‘nachos’.
Just remember – you read it here first.
© Sally Butcher 2011

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