Heavy-Hearted Hummus

My whole life is Palestine.  My education, the jobs I have striven for, my career and my life has always been about Palestine.  But my personal time, once I clock off, I have not always found it easy to engage formally.  That is because I find it too hard, too tiring and too exposing.  It’s hard to be detached enough from the issue to keep going when you are part of the issue.  I have found it hard to find my place in the past, you know, growing up.  Too afraid to bore everyone with the Palestine issue, while knowing it’s also always expected of me to talk about it.

My Teta Shafiqa used to say to me that a bird only had one song.  And that’s very liberating.  Knowing that not everyone will like your song but that you still can’t change it.  Knowing that you can’t affect everything and everyone but you still can’t change it.  Knowing that you can’t do everything, but what you can do you can really commit to, and do well.

My song is Palestine.  In my house, in my cooking, with my family, at my work.

This has been a hard year for those of us whose bird-song is Palestine.  It’s been a year when I have too often come home too sad, too exhausted and too mentally preoccupied to cook.  And on those evening, when I have a family to feed, I make a picnic supper.  Dips, breads, cut veg, fruits, cheeses and anything else I can find in the fridge.  The king of these suppers is the Hummus- everything tastes delicious dipped in Hummus; warm bread, crisps, carrot sticks anything that we have in the fridge and cupboards.

The tip for great hummus is the olive oil.  And crucially when to add it.  You only add the olive oil on top of the hummus once you serve it- you don’t blend any into the mixture.  This recipe is for late night, I can’t be borrowed to cook hummus, so it uses canned chickpeas.  It won’t give you as smooth a mixture as soaked dry chickpeas but that doesn’t matter for this.

hummus up high


1 can chickpeas

1 lemon, juiced

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 tablespoon tahini


Extra virgin olive oil

Lots if tasty things to decorate:  sumac, mint, spare chickpeas, almonds, pomegranate seeds, zataar- anything you like)



  • Empty the can of chickpeas into a saucepan and gently heat until nicely warm but not boiling
  • put the garlic, lemon juice, chickpeas & water (you can leave some back to decorate), tahini and salt in a blender and blend until smooth and semi-thick
  • put the hummus into a bowl and shape the hummus into a channel with a thick middle and high edge
  • pour the olive oil into the channel
  • decorate however you like with anything edible you have found in your cupboard, fruit bowl and garden
  • for the beautiful lines I have achieved with the sumac (which you can also use Zataar for) is to simply wet a fork and dip into the sumac or zataar and then press onto the hummus to create the wonderful stripes
  • enjoy with all your favourite bits and pieces from the fridge and bread bin

One thought on “Heavy-Hearted Hummus

  1. Pingback: Meaty, Nutty Hummus | The Olive Tree Kitchen

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