Pickled Cucumber and Hummus

Thinking ahead a little (sorry) this recipe is a good one for Christmas entertaining with the green of the cucumber and the red jewel-like seeds of the pomegranate. It will, of course, go down well any time and is especially good for large numbers as it can be made ahead and keeps happily in the fridge overnight.


Just a little thought, everyone is busy nowadays, so if you want to save a bit of time:

Salt the cucumber, but don't pickle it - not so exciting, but still pretty good.

Cut thickish slices of cucumber rather than the diamond shape (pickled or not).

Use shop bought hummus.


Ingredients - makes 20

1/2 cucumber

50g hummus approx (bought or home made)

2 tbs pomegranate seeds approx (freeze any extra to use another time)

20 leaves or small sprigs of flat leaf parsley

Salt


For the pickling solution:

60ml white wine vinegar

60ml water

30g caster sugar

1/4 tsp salt


For the hummus:

1 400g tin chickpeas

2 tbs tahini

2 tbsp sesame oil

2 tbs lemon juice

2 tbsp chickpea water (or more)

1 tsp smoked salt

Good pinch hot smoked paprika

2 tsp ground cumin



Method

For the pickling solution: dissolve the sugar and salt in the vinegar and water by gently heating them in a small saucepan. Cool.


To make the hummus: drain the chickpeas, remembering to reserve the chickpea water. Add all the ingredients to the bowl of a food processor and whizz together until smooth. Add more of any of the ingredients to the hummus to get the taste you like and the consistency, which should be like creamy mayonnaise.


For the cucumber: wash the cucumber, dry and cut in half across. Using one of the pieces, cut off the end and then cut into half lengthways. You will have 2 long pieces.


Scoop out the seeds and cut the 2 long pieces into half again lengthways, so that you now have 4 long pieces.


Cut 5 even size pieces from each length. (To keep the canapés regular in size use a measure, unless you are very accurate at cutting by eye).

Using a tiny spoon, scoop some cucumber flesh out of the middle of each piece. Sprinkle the pieces with salt and place the cucumber, skin side uppermost, on a piece of kitchen towel.


After a couple of hours the cucumber pieces can be wiped with kitchen towel and then submerged in the pickling solution and left in the fridge for several hours.


When ready to fill the pickled cucumber, wipe it with kitchen towel or a clean tea towel. Spoon or pipe the hummus into each cucumber piece, sprinkle some pomegranate seeds over and decorate with a sprig of parsley.


These will keep well in the fridge for 24 hours.





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