Broccoli Hummus

You didn’t think I’d be posting a recipe for Broccoli Hummus? You probably expect just sweet treats here but I do adore savoury (big time!) too. In fact, I’m sure this would be fabulous filled in my mini herb macarons.

Moreover, when something is as easy to make and deliciously healthy too, I feel it’s my duty to shout it from the rooftops and say:

EAT MORE BROCCOLI THIS WAY.

Broccoli-Hummus

This broccoli hummus is made in just 15 minutes.

Have I convinced you yet?

Freshly Homemade Hummus

I love making my own hummus with the traditional chickpeas. It’s so quick and easy – BUT I have to remember to soak the dried chickpeas the night before.  Tinned or jarred chickpeas just don’t produce the same delicious creamy result. Apologies – I don’t want to be a kill-joy but it’s true.

Try it for yourself and see. We’ve tested so many versions at home that soaked dried chickpeas won without any doubt over the tinned, quick version.  See the recipe picked up from my French friends with the twangy accents from the south with their creamy Poichichade Recipe (as in pois chiches converted like olive tapenade, anchoiade …).

When the sun shines, there’s nothing quite like spreading on some creamy hummus spread on crackers or crusty bread for an apéritif in France, served with a chilled glass of wine with friends and family.

Broccoli Humous

Quick & Easy Broccoli Hummus

Antoine came back with 3 huge heads of fresh broccoli the other day – “Enough to last us for 3 weeks”. I don’t know about you but fresh, vibrant broccoli doesn’t last that long and so it needs to be used up pretty quickly. We love broccoli but this was clearly needing some improvisation, as serving broccoli as a side every night for a week was not going to hack it with the girls – or Antoine, even if he bought them!

I first discovered that replacing cauliflower with broccoli in this velvety Crème Dubarry soup is exquisite;
Antoine thinks it’s even better with broccoli, convinced there’s cheese in it when there isn’t.
I love playing food games – do you?

Broccoli Hummus – the Recipe

I discovered this wee recipe in a French magazine (last October’s Gourmand).  It caught my eye, as it had simple ingredients. The broccoli was only cooked al dente for 5 minutes, retaining its vibrant colour and flavour and then whizzed together with a lemon zest/juice, parsley, tahini, garlic and oil.

The recipe asked for some pistachio oil (so if you have some, add a tablespoon) but instead of a neutral oil to accompany it, I used olive oil and added some sesame seeds.

THAT’S IT ! So, thanks to Antoine for doing the grocery shopping. I love it when we’re presented with delicious challenges like this, don’t you?

As you can see from the ingredients, this recipe just happens to be not just vegetarian but it’s also VEGAN, DAIRY-FREE, GLUTEN FREE (as long as you serve it with GF munchies) and sugar-free.

How to Serve Broccoli Hummus

Serve with crusty French bread, crackers, toasted pita bread, tortilla chips, potato chips, potato wedges or oatcakes.
(I love this gluten-free all oatmeal oatcake recipe from Christina’s Cucina).

Leftovers? Toss Broccoli Hummus in Pasta

Ensure that any leftovers are sealed tight in a jam jar and covered with a little olive oil to retain its freshness.

It’s so incredibly tasty that I even tossed it in pasta with some of the leftovers. Just add a little extra olive oil and a little of the pasta water.

Green Vegetable Hummus

Don’t have fresh broccoli?

Then frozen would work so well with this recipe too. I’ll leave you to tell me in the comments below if you find a good alternative if you don’t have fresh broccoli. It’s all part of the most delicious, creative challenges in the kitchen!

 

broccoli hummus recipe

Broccoli Hummus Recipe

5 from 3 votes
Broccoli Hummus Recipe
Broccoli Hummus
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
5 mins
Total Time
15 mins
 

A quick and easy healthy spread replacing the traditional chickpeas with broccoli

Course: Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine: French
Keyword: broccoli, hummous, hummus,
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 114 kcal
Author: Jill Colonna
Ingredients
  • 250 g (9oz) broccoli florets
  • 2 cloves garlic roughly chopped
  • 1 unwaxed lemon, zest & juice
  • 75 ml (3 fl oz) olive oil (or 5 tbsp)
  • 2 tbsp tahini (or almond/pistachio butter)
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley
  • 1/2 tsp each of salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds (optional), for decor
Instructions
  1. Cut the broccoli into florets and cook in salted boiling water for just 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon or sieve and place in a mixer or food processor.

  2. Add to the mixer all the other ingredients: lemon zest and juice, the tahini (or other nut butter), parsley, salt and pepper. Gradually add the oil while blending the lot in the mixer.

  3. Transfer to a serving dish. Top with sesame seeds (if using), dribble on some extra olive oil and garnish with extra parsley.

Recipe Notes

Serve with crusty bread, oatcakes or crackers (for those following a gluten-free diet, serve with your favourite gluten-free bread, crackers or oatcakes.)

This broccoli hummus is also excellent as a pasta sauce - just add a little more olive oil and a little of the pasta cooking water.

Can keep for up to 5 days if stored in a sealed jar and topped with olive oil in the fridge.

Jill Colonna

MadAboutMacarons.com

 

 

Fluffy Cheese Scones

Whatever time of day it is, there’s something incredibly comforting about serving warmed fluffy cheese scones with melted butter and a pot of tea.

Somehow teatime at home is all highly civilised.

Fluffy Cheese Scones

This post was originally published in March 2017 as Cheese Scones with Spring Onions & Rosemary. As it has been one of your favourite recipes on le blog, I’ve updated the photos and done away with the fancy spring onions. Now you still have the fluffiest cheese scones that can be rustled up in even less time. Moreover, for 12 scones this recipe only needs one egg so while perhaps rationing our fresh produce, this recipe should rise to the occasion!

NOW ON VIDEO!
Click HERE

 

Fluffy Cheese Scones

Out of the treats that come out of our kitchen, there’s one thing I can serve for lunch – in true British style with soup – and my ‘Scottish-half’ girls always squeal,  “YES! CHEESE SCONES!”  They may be so grown up now but as soon as these scones come out of the oven, my teenagers are little girls purring like the cat that’s got the cream.  Perhaps it’s the memory of our cheese scone ritual we had, stopping off at the Scottish garden centre tearoom near Prestwick airport on our way back to Paris Beauvais.  We did this so often over the years visiting Granny and Grandpa that it was our shuttle. Alas, these days there’s far too much homework and exams.

As a result, I make cheese scones at home, as they are – surprisingly – so quick and easy to make.

Two Top Tips for High-Rise, Fluffiest Cheese Scones

My idea of a perfect cheese scone is that it’s light, high and fluffy.  I started off many years ago using the classic recipe in the Be-Ro Flour Cookbook. Now, over the years I have used this slightly adapted recipe which ensures that they have a lovely height.

There are TWO SECRETS to high rise scones:

  • Don’t be shy on the baking powder. Even if using self-raising flour, add a teaspoon; and
  • Don’t work the dough too much – including not rolling it out too flat.  Keep it quite thick, cutting them with a scone or cookie cutter.

How Do You Eat Cheese Scones?

How do you eat yours?  We just split them in half while warm and spread on a little butter, watching it melt.  Perfect with a cup of tea – and also with soup (see ideas below).

 

Best Cheese to Use for Savoury Scones

Ideally use a good, strong, mature cheddar (orange will give it a lovely colour but it’s not necessary) as the flavour should shine through. Using half of grated aged parmesan or a mature hard orange vieille mimolette adds extra punch too. The stronger the better!

Personally, as we don’t have the easiest access to the best mature cheddar in France, I use a half and half mix of what orange cheddar I can find with best quality French Comté cheese (preference 12-18 months mature), thus making them a bit of a Scottish-French Auld Alliance.

Scone Glaze

As we’re currently being careful not to use too many eggs (I want to avoid going to the shops too much!), I brushed the tops of the scones with milk only.
For a shiny royal scone look, however, the best way is to brush the tops of the scones with the milk and egg yolk glaze.

Then top the scones with more grated cheese and/or poppy seeds and sesame seeds.

The result? The cheese scones have a lovely, finished shine that gives that slight crunch to the outside and split open warm, they’re soft, light and fluffy inside – ready to spread with quickly melting butter!

fluffy cheese scones soup

Look – we’re not even a shiny batch but open us up and taste!

Quick Soup Recipes from the Pantry

Cheese scones are also a real treat served for a light lunch with a comforting bowl of soup. Here are some ideas for homemade soup, using little from the pantry:

 

perfect-fluffy-cheese-scones

Fluffy Cheese Scones Recipe

5 from 13 votes
Fluffy Cheese Scones Recipe
Fluffy Cheese Scones
Prep Time
25 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
40 mins
 

An easy recipe for the fluffiest, light cheese scones. Only uses one egg for a batch of 12

Course: Breakfast, Brunch, Light Lunch, Snack, teatime
Cuisine: British
Keyword: cheese scones, savoury scones
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 293 kcal
Author: Jill Colonna
Ingredients
  • 250 g (9oz) Plain (all-purpose) flour T55
  • 1 tbsp Baking powder (use only 1 tsp if using self-raising flour)
  • 1 tsp Bicarbonate of soda
  • pinch salt & pepper
  • 50 g (2oz) Butter, unsalted (at room temperature)
  • 100 g (3.5oz) Cheese, finely grated (Cheddar, French Comté, Mimolette)*
  • 1 tbsp Rosemary, finely chopped (or fresh thyme, chives, dried Herbes de Provence)
  • 1 egg (@60g)
  • 100 ml (3.5fl oz) Milk (whole or semi-skimmed)
Glaze
  • 1 egg yolk (optional)
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp sesame or poppy seeds (optional)
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 220°C/425°F/Gas 7/200°C fan. Line a baking tray with parchment paper or a silicone mat.

  2. Mix together the flour, baking powder/soda, salt, pepper, and rosemary in a large bowl.  Either rub in the butter using your fingers but if you have a mixer, this is even better.  Mix just until the butter looks like breadcrumbs in the flour then add the cheese. Add the egg and milk and mix until fully combined. The result should be a sticky dough. If you find it's too dry, add a little bit more milk.

  3. Roll out on a floured surface to about 2 cm thick (nearly an inch) and using a scone/cookie cutter (6cm/2.5"), cut out medium-sized rounds. Alternatively, to save time or if you don't have cutters, roll into a circle (use a plate as a guide) and cut into triangles with a sharp knife.

  4. Place on the baking tray and brush with a mixture of egg yolk and a little milk to glaze (yolk is optional but recommended for a shiny glaze).

  5. Bake for 10-15 minutes until golden brown.

Recipe Notes

YIELD: Makes 12 scones.

CALORIES: One portion of 2 scones is 293 calories.

CHEESES: mature, strong cheeses are best such as cheddar, mimolette, parmesan, comté & gruyère.

BUTTERMILK SCONES: If you replace the milk with buttermilk, omit 1 tsp of baking powder, but personally I prefer cheese scones made with milk, as find they rise better.

VIDEO: Now available on video.

Jill Colonna

MadAboutMacarons.com

 

 

Roasted Tomato Mozzarella Bites

Each time I make these Roasted Tomato Mozzarella Bites, they disappear so fast I can never take any photos.  Believe me, when you make them yourself, you’ll know exactly what I mean.

The beauty about these nibbles is the roasted tomatoes. I know; slicing up fresh tomatoes, plopping on some fresh mozzarella and basil, dribbled with some olive oil and sea salt and it’s done, right? OK. Yes, I hear you.  But we don’t always get the greatest of tomatoes ALL the time.

There’s nothing to beat homegrown but when we can’t grow our own tomatoes and we’re left with slightly tasteless ones when they’re out of season or a bit tired at the supermarket, then this is the answer. Roasting the tomatoes for a few minutes first makes all the difference.

Roasted Tomato Mozzarella Bites

Roasted Tomato Mozzarella Bites

Quick Roasting Tomatoes Concentrates Flavour

The concentrated tomato flavour by quick-roasting in the oven means that there’s no need for any fancy extra ingredients.  Keep it simple. I use the longer tomatoes, as they give off less juice and so ideal for roasting quickly (e.g. Torino, Roma).

Torino Tomatoes at the French market

You’ll just need good quality fresh mozzarella (bufala even better): either balls or chopped into little bite-sized pieces.  Top each tomato slice along with a bit of fresh basil, salt and olive oil – if you really need to. To top it, here’s my Italian-blooded friend, Christina Conte, talking about the reasons to hold back on balsamic etc. on Caprese salads!

The flavour ends up being so full of blissful tomato, that you’ll just want to eat it as is. Don’t believe me? Just try it!

As I watched our cherry tomato plant just roast in the soaring temperatures this week to over 40°C, I could have probably done this recipe just by picking them directly off the plant and forgetting about the oven! Speaking of which, have you tried these salted toffee cherry tomatoes?

Luckily for us, our mini dwarf basil plant hasn’t grilled completely in this Parisian heatwave. To top it, we’ve got some pretty little basil flowers that are totally edible too. If you’re one of these people who puts the flowers to the side of the plate or picks them off, please don’t. The herb flowers pack a punch with a concentrated basil that explodes on the palette!

Roasted Tomato Mozzarella Bites

Bland Tomatoes? Roast them!

Great party food, excellent served with drinks at any time of year.  By roasting the tomatoes, the flavour is concentrated and so even the blandest of tomatoes can be livened up for a party – although the better the tomatoes, the more your toes will curl with the pure and simple taste. Cheers!

Roasted Tomato Mozzarella Bites

5 from 7 votes
Roasted tomato mozzarella bites
Roasted Tomato Mozzarella Bites
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Cooling Time
15 mins
Total Time
50 mins
 

Easy Caprese tomato mozzarella & basil bites are concentrated in flavour with roasted tomatoes, making them great party food and full of flavour at any time of year.

Course: Appetizer, Drinks, Side Dish, Snack, Starter
Cuisine: Italian, Mediterranean
Keyword: appetizers, party food, tomato mozzarella
Servings: 10 people
Calories: 94 kcal
Author: Jill Colonna
Ingredients
  • 5 Tomatoes (organic) (I use Roma, long tomatoes)
  • 1 tsp fleur de sel sea salt
  • pepper, to taste (optional)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
  • 300 g (11oz) fresh mozzarella balls (if small, one per tomato slice, otherwise cut in half)
  • 1 tbsp fresh basil leaves to top each tomato
Instructions
  1. Slice the tomatoes not too thinly (about 1.5cm) so that they'll roast and not burn (they should be still wet when done). Place slices on baking parchment on a baking tray. Roast in the oven at 170°C/150°C fan/340°F/Gas 3 for about 20 minutes until roasted but not brown.

  2. Leave to cool on the baking tray. Meanwhile, place the mozzarella balls in a bowl with the olive oil, sea salt and pepper, if using.

  3. Place the basil then mozzarella balls on each tomato slice and using a tooth pick, lift off each tomato slice, skewering the pick into the tomato and mozzarella and transfer to a serving plate. If there are leftover tomato slices, place one on top to make a sandwich.

Recipe Notes

Excellent with a glass of chilled white, rosé or red wine or try a French Kir Royal for something different.

Jill Colonna

MadAboutMacarons.com

 

Salted Toffee Cherry Tomatoes

Liven up your summer drinks with this salty & sweet apéritif – adds fun to a centre-piece too!

Cheese Scones with Spring Onion & Rosemary

How to make the fluffiest cheese scones for teatime!

Mincemeat Pinwheels

A quick and handy vegetarian recipe that’s perfect to make in advance for your festive end-of-year parties