We love to show people what to do with local grown food so were delighted to be asked to deliver a cooking demonstration for Leeds Allotment Federation as part of their annual learning day in May.
We had a lot of rocket left in our SeasonWell Food Garden that had overwintered and so thought we would use that to demo how to use spring greens in a hummus.
You can also use wild garlic in early spring or nettle tops. You have to use the nettle tops before the plant has flowered so you need to make that in spring too or find a patch of nettles which gets regularly mowed and keeps coming back.
We teamed it with some herby flatbreads using thyme and chives and their flowers from our food garden too. Here are the recipes:
“Use Your Greens” Hummus
3-4 handfuls spring greens (eg nettle, wild garlic, rocket, parsley, spinach)
1 tin (240g) chickpeas
Juice of a lemon
1-2 garlic cloves minced (omit this if using wild garlic)
2 tablespoons tahini
Black pepper & a little salt to taste ( ¼ teaspoon)
extra virgin olive or rapeseed oil to drizzle
Sharp Knife & chopping board
Food processor (or large bowl & stick blender or fork and strong arm)
Garlic press ( or large sharp knife)
- After washing your freshly picked greens, remove the leaves from the stalks and roughly tear into your bowl. If using nettles remember to wear rubber gloves for this. You may also want to blanch the nettle leaves in boiling water for a few minutes. Squeeze out excess water and set it aside.
- Crush the garlic gloves.
- Juice the lemon. Drain the chickpeas but reserve some of the water
- Combine the greens and chickpeas with the lemon, garlic, tahini, salt and pepper and 2 tablespoons of either chickpea water or nettle water, if using nettles.
- Either mash together with a fork or potato masher, or for a creamier (and quicker) hummus combine in a food processor. Just blend until creamy. Add more nettle/chickpea water for a looser texture if wanted
- Taste! You can add more lemon, garlic, salt and pepper as required.
- Serve in a shallow dish with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of paprika. You could also top with some seeds, or a few chopped fresh herbs like chives, parsley or coriander.
Easy Flatbread Recipe
Ingredients (Makes 4 large or 8 small)
- 250g self-raising flour, plus a little extra for dusting ( or use a mix of ½ wholemeal ½ white)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ tea spoon baking powder
- 250g natural yoghurt
- Put all of the dry flatbread ingredients into a bowl. Make a well in the centre and tip in the yoghurt. Fold the flour and yoghurt together to form a dough.
(If the dough’s a little wet still, you may need to add another sprinkling of flour)
- Dust your work surface with a little flour, then tip the dough onto it.
- Knead the dough for a minute or so to bring it together, and then divide the dough into about 12 equal-sized pieces.
- Dust a rolling pin with flour then roll the pieces of dough out into side-plate-sized rounds.
- Stack them between small sheets of greaseproof paper next to the hob ready to cook.
To cook your flatbreads
Put a large dry frying pan on a high heat t. Once it’s really hot, cook each flatbread for a couple of minutes per side, until slightly puffy and lightly charred – you’ll need to do this in batches and keep the bread warm in the oven till you have made all the breads
Once cooked you can brush the bread with a little olive oil or melted butter and sprinkle over chopped herbs like rosemary, sage, oregano or chives.
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