From a very young age, one of Neven's favourite pastimes was to shadow his mother in the kitchen, watching her cook; his pastime soon became ...
1 large red pepper
olive oil (for cooking)
1 mild red chilli
400 g can chickpeas (rinsed and drained)
juice of 1 lemon
2 garlic cloves (crushed)
good pinch ground cumin
100 ml tahini (sesame seed paste) (optional)
2 tblsp extra-virgin olive oil
pinch of sweet or smoked paprika
for the tortilla chips:
4-6 soft flour tortillas
olive oil, for brushing
maldon sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, to garnish
Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F/Gas 6). To prepare the tortilla chips, place two baking sheets in the oven for about 5 minutes until well heated. Meanwhile, brush both sides of the soft flour tortillas with olive oil, then cut in half. Cut each half into four triangles and arrange on the heated baking sheets. Place in the oven for 3-4 minutes until crisped up.
To make the hummus, place the red pepper in a baking tin and drizzle with a little olive oil. Roast for 15 minutes, then add the chilli and drizzle over a little more olive oil, then continue for cook for another 15-20 minutes until both vegetables are completely tender and nicely charred. Transfer to a polythene bag and leave to cool completely. This will help to steam the skins off. When cool enough to handle, peel both and then cut in half and remove the cores. Roughly chop the remaining flesh.
Place the red pepper and chilli flesh in a food processor with the chickpeas, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, tahini, if using with four tablespoons of water. Whizz to a creamy purée. Taste, then add more lemon juice, garlic, cumin or salt to taste. Turn out into a wide rimmed bowl, and make smooth with the back of a spoon. Drizzle with the extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkle over a little paprika and freshly ground black pepper. Garnish with the parsley. Arrange the crispy tortilla chips on a platter with the bowl of roasted red pepper and chilli hummus to serve.
Replace the red pepper and chilli with one ripe avocado. Cut it in half, remove the stone and scoop out the flesh into the food processor with the rest of the ingredients. Proceed with the recipe as described above.