For the hummus:

  • 2 bunches fresh basil, roughly torn into small pieces
  • 1 tin of excellent quality canellini beans (tinned beans are absolutely fine, although I do take extra care in selecting a premium range), rinsed under fresh water of any brine
  • 1 tsp freshly minced garlic
  • 2 tbs of fresh olive oil
  • 2 tbs of thick Greek yoghurt
  • Salt and black pepper for seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp Smoked paprika dulce
  • Finely chopped sundried tomatoes
  • 2 tbs finely chopped dill
  • One tomato half
  • 4 fresh as they come eggs for poaching
  • 1 stick of French baguette

As you will find out in recipes to come, I am rather obsessed with my mortar and pestle. All shapes and sizes fill the kitchen–some carved out of a gnarled piece of rosewood; my favorite cheerful Joseph Conran little number with its bright lime green pestle happily grinding away, releasing delightful scents and aromas; or my sturdy Italian grey speckled marble one with a handy rounded design that fits the shape of the bowl entirely, crushing and smoothing as I dream up more recipes. Thai curry pastes, emerald green luscious pestos and vibrant smoky Moroccan spice rubs have been created with love and affection in my various little vessels. These, I will keep and cherish as true hand me downs, so my daughter or daughter in law may one day feel the warmth of generations of cooking as they create recipes of their own.

However, I am also a very practical cook and I know we don’t always have time to be truly authentic as such, so bring out the good old blender and follow the same method. My only advice you do need to take seriously, is don’t overwork this. Keep it on pulse, so the end result should be a more rustic chopped, chunky version of hummus.

So as easy as this:

  • Place the canellini beans and the olive oil in the mortar or blender and start to pound and grind, breaking down the beans. As you see the beans begin to break down into a mush add the rest of the ingredients apart from the yoghurt. Work these through, releasing all the flavours but keep the mixture chunky.
  • After around five minutes, you should have a chunky hummus. Add the yoghurt and gently, fold in the sundried tomatoes.
  • Poach the eggs by first bringing to boil a small pan of water, filled halfway, with 1 tsp of white vinegar. As it is simmering, not a rolling boil, create a ‘whirlpool’ by stirring the water. Crack your eggs one by one into a cup and add it to the swirling water, two at a time maximum. The swirling water should help the white wrap around the yolk. Poach for 4 minutes.
  • Lightly toast a few slices of French baguette. With the cut side of the tomato, rub this generously over one side of the bread, letting the tomato juices soak into the bread. Spread the hummus generously on the baguette and sprinkle the dill as a last touch. Serve with the poached eggs and a lash of horseradish sauce.

Bush Breakfast, the Taste Safari Way !


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