CQ`S Cooking Tips #3: Hommus + Pesto


Post by Val the Cookie Queen


Cookie Queen’s Infrequent Cooking Tips No 3

Hommus + Pesto

Hungry APJs? I greet you.

I am expecting five visitors from England and have been running round like a chipmunk on speed.

Chipmunk Running SeagullStevePhoto Stolen SeagullSteve

Turning my 20 year old bodybuilding, XBox playing son`s bedroom into a room for an 8 year old girl to have for a week. No mean feat I can tell you. Changing my teenage girl´s room into a small haven for the mum and dad I was stunned to find that there was actually a carpet on her floor. I had forgotten she had one. Two young lads coming along too, but I have bunged them in the attic. Washing, cleaning and of course cooking!!
Yay!! I can do that. Fast. Simple and bloody good. If I do say so myself.
It goes without saying that I baked a few cookies in the morning, and no, I will never share the recipes for them.

Since it is still warm here, and our southern hemisphere friends are getting ready for summer, I have made hummus and a batch of pesto, perfect summer food.

HUMMUS (Hommus for Aussies)

Hommus ExclusivelyFoodPhoto Stolen ExclusivelyFood

Soak about half a kilo of chickpeas for a few hours or overnight.
Cook them for about 50 minutes in the pressure cooker. Turn off and leave to cool down.
I then swirl them around in the water, lightly running them through my fingers, to remove the skins.
Pour the skins and water away. Keep doing it until most or all of the skin is gone. It really does make a difference to
the end result.

So now ……..
About 4 cups of cooked chickpeas
1 cup of tahini (sesame paste)
Juice of 2 or 3 lemons
A hefty amount of finely chopped garlic
A decent amount of salt
7 tablespoons of iced water

Put the chickpeas into a food processor. Process until mashed up.
Add the tahini, lemon juice, garlic and salt. Process some more.
Drizzle in the iced water, and then process/puree for 3 or 4 minutes.

Job done. (You can do the whole lot with a fork if you don´t have a mixer. It will just be coarser.)

Put into a nice serving bowl, drizzle with olive oil and decorate with whatever – chilies, parsley, cracked black pepper.

DO NOT ADD OIL WHEN MAKING THE HUMMUS ………. that is a western practice.

Serve with nice bread, raw vegetables, whatever. This is so good you will never buy it again. You can use canned chickpeas of course,
but cooking your own has the edge.

So that´s supper out the way.


Pesto Ingredients ThePleasuresOfThePalatePhoto Stolen ThePleasuresOfThePalate

Rinse out your food processor and make the pesto now. Please don´t buy pesto from the store. Ugh.

Around 2 cups of chopped basil
Maybe about half a cup of pine nuts
Half a cup of grated fresh Parmesan cheese
Crushed garlic to taste (anything fro 1 – 6 cloves!!)
Olive oil
Fresh squeezed half a lemon, maybe a little zest if you fancy


Put everything into the processor except the oil and lemon juice.
Process away, scraping down the sides.
Then drizzle the olive oil in until you have whatever consistency you like – hard to say how much, half a cup, more??
Add the lemon juice right at the end. It literally brightens it, and freshens it up. Beautifully. And fragrantly.

Put it into a jar, sealing it with a layer of olive oil.

Cook up a pot of linguine or spaghetti. Drain. Put a huge dollop of pesto into the bottom of a nice
serving bowl and put the noodles on top. Mix in well. Maybe grate some extra Parmesan on top.
Done. Serve with a large plate of sliced tomatoes and some goat´s cheese. Lunch is served.
There will be pesto leftover. Put it into a jar, and seal it with a layer of olive oil to keep it fresh.
Keeps for a while.

I suggest that when working with this much garlic, that you don´t apply any perfume until you have
finished and showered!! You all know what I think of perfume and garlic.

Let me know how you like it.


18 thoughts on “CQ`S Cooking Tips #3: Hommus + Pesto

  1. Hi CQ! Sounds like you have your hands full! Thank you for taking the time to share these great recipes. I’d almost forgotten my basil plants among the herbs in the garden. They are now looking like pesto to me! A good use of what remains before the weather turns.
    Azar xx


  2. HI again, CQ. I was just checking out a food blog created by one of my old piano students. She loves sweet things and is the daughter of a transplanted Aussi family (her father, anyway) living in NC, USA. She has a quirky sense of humor and a pig for a pet and is a pescetarian (so she does great fish recipes when she isn’t baking). If you have time her blog is called the Pescetarian and the Pig and is on WordPress.


    • Azar Honey! Hi ……..why thanks. I love great tips like that. I am on to it as we speak. Friends here until Saturday and ten I will get your little package off to you!!! Cheers for dropping by. Hugs. Val CQ xxx


  3. Great timing. I was also looking at my basil thinking its time to make some pesto. I just need to pick up some pine nuts tomorrow.
    You’re right, there’s nothing like making hummus yourself. It’s much better and you can control the flavor (I like it garlicky). My biggest problem is cooking the chickpeas. Or any dried beans really. I never had issues until I moved here. I think the water is the problem. They never seem to soften. Maybe I’ll see if I can find a pressure cooker that will work on an induction cooktop and see if that gets me better results.


  4. I make hummus on Saturday morning as a toast spreader. I will try your iced water tip. Have to say I like to add olive oil and paprika at the end, sometime chilli and occasionally I use black salt from an Indian spice shop.
    @Poodle – soak pulses overnight.


    • Hi Jordan!! Well who am I to say if you can add olive oil or not?? Haha. I just know that traditional hummus does not have it in. The oil from the tahini is enough. I always drizzle olive oil over it though – quite a lot. But it whips up beautifully without it. Ik now it is included in many recipes, but they are all variations of the original hummus. I reckon anyway! Whatever. Homemade hummus is the best and so easy. Bussis.


    • Jordan, I’ve soaked them overnight and then some. It’s the darn water. I made baked beans for my mom at her house last week and had no problem. I used to make them at our other house, no issues as long as I soaked them. It’s so odd.


      • Try Baking Soda in the soaking water:

        From Nigella:
        Most pulses, such as dried beans and chickpeas, need to be soaked before cooking. If you are using dried chickpeas then you should soak them overnight in plently of cold water, or use the quick method where the pulses are covered with water, brought to the boil, taken off the heat and left to soak for an hour. Bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) can be added to the soaking water (after boiling, if using the quick method) as it helps to soften the skins of the pulses, making it easier for the dried pulses to absorb some of the soaking water and helping them to rehydrate and soften. This can be useful for older pulses which tend to need more soaking and longer cooking. You could try using 1 teaspoon of bicarboante of soda per 1 lire (1 quart) of water.
        The pulses should be thoroughly rinsed after soaking and placed in a saucepan of fresh water. Bring them to the boil and keep at a boil for 10 minutes before reducing the heat to a simmer. This boiling time is needed to kill off toxins which can be present in some pulses. We would not recommend using bicarbonate of soda in the cooking water as it can cause the pulses to become too soft or mushy and can sometimes leave a soapy taste.


  5. Sounds like you have been busy busy busy! Thanks for the recipes, I make my Hummus the same way as you do! We usually cut large pieces of Lebanese bread and deep fry them until golden and crispy and eat them with the hummus, it’s delish 🙂


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