Cumin Lamb with Creamed Hummus and Roast Parsnips

If you have leftover roast lamb, this is a interesting way of serving it that is very different from the obvious option of shepherd’s pie. Chunks of lamb are dusted with ground cumin and popped in the oven to heat through, turn slightly crusty and extremely aromatic. This moreish meat is piled over a sloppy, creamy take on hummus and you’ll be impressed at how well this combination of flavours and textures works together, particularly when there are very crusty roast parsnips on the side. The combination of creamy and crunchy, sweet and haunting flavours with the meat works extremely well and is distantly related to a Lebanese dish I used to enjoy at long-gone Phoenicia in Abingdon Road, Kensington. I have been overly generous with the parsnips because I love them so much and they re-heat perfectly in a hot oven but there is probably enough for 3 or 4, there is certainly sufficient sloppy hummus for 4 servings.

Serves 2
Prep: 15 min
Cook: 35 min

6 parsnips
6-7 tbsp olive oil
400g can chickpeas
2 garlic cloves
1 lemon
shake Tabasco
1 tbsp tahini
1 ¼ tsp ground cumin
250g, approx, roast lamb

Boil a full kettle. Use a potato peeler to peel the parsnips. Cut off the narrow ends to the point where the parsnips swell to the root. Quarter the fat root end so you end up with 5 almost equal pieces. Drop the parsnips into boiling salted water from the kettle and boil for 5 minutes. Drain and leave to cool. Choose a shallow roasting tin that can fit the parsnips in a single, uncrowded layer and splash with 2 tbsp olive oil. Roll the pieces through the oil. Roast now or keep them on hold covered with a sheet of clingfilm. Roast at 220C/gas mark 7, turning the heat to 200C/gas mark 6 if browning too quickly. Turn after about 15 minutes; you want the pieces evenly crusty and golden as in the picture, so allow about 35 minutes in total. While the parsnips roast, make the creamed chickpeas.  Drain the chickpeas saving some of the liquid. Place in the bowl of a food processor with peeled and crushed garlic, juice from half the lemon, ¼ tsp cumin, generous seasoning salt and black pepper, tahini, Tabasco, 2 tbsp olive oil and 2 tbsp chickpea liquid. Blitz to roughly chop, scraping down inside the bowl a couple of times. With the motor running, add 5-6 tbsp olive oil in a steady stream. Continue until very smooth, adding extra olive oil or lemon juice and a little more of the reserved chickpea liquid, aiming for the texture of salad cream rather than bought hummus. If it shows signs of splitting, add 1 tbsp warm water gradually, with the motor running. Transfer to a poly box and chill until required. Pick over the lamb, cut or tear into small bite-size pieces and pile on a foil-lined roasting tin. Dust with cumin. When the parsnips are just about done, place the meat in the oven and leave for 5 minutes or so until hot and aromatic.