Toasted Sunflower Seed and Garlic Dip

11:45 am on 5 January 2019
No caption

Photo: Laura Vincent

A recipe inspired by this one

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 whole garlic bulb
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon tahini (I only had black tahini, hence the murky colour of the finished dip)
  • salt and ground pepper, to taste

Method

Toast the sunflower seeds in a dry saucepan (that is, no oil in it or anything) over a medium heat, stirring and keeping an eye on them till they’re all more or less lightly browned.

Tip them into a bowl or small jug, cover with water and refrigerate for around six hours, or overnight if that’s easier.

At this point, set your oven to 180C/350F, wrap the garlic bulb loosely in tinfoil and pop it in the oven for about half an hour.

Now it can all come together: Drain the sunflower seeds and tip them into a high-speed blender (or a regular food processor, the finished result won’t be quite as smooth though.)

Remove the garlic from the tinfoil and carefully disrobe each clove from its papery casing and add them to the blender.

The garlic will (obviously) be very hot, but the softened cloves should pop out easily enough. Add the cumin, oil, lime juice, tahini, and plenty of salt and pepper, and blitz the lot together till it has become a smooth, slightly nubbly paste.

Add a little fresh water to thin it if need be, and taste for whether it needs anything more – whether it needs the sharpness of more lime, a little extra body from the oil, depth from the cumin or the old-fashioned helping hand of more salt and pepper.

Spatula into a bowl or container and refrigerate till you need it, and festoon with mint leaves, more olive oil, and sesame seeds (or of course: more sunflower seeds) to serve, if you wish.

 

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