Rosemary's Blog

Broad bean humus with whiskies to match

One of the great things about the Community Garden in our village is that it encourages us all not only to share produce but recipes too. New member Sally was saying that she and her housemate had made some humus from broad beans harvested at the Garden, so I thought I’d give it a go. I used quite large beans that needed cooking, but the resulting ‘bash’ was delicious.

All you need is cooked broad beans, a spoonful or two of tahini (peanut butter is just about OK as a substitute), garlic, perhaps a chilli, some lemon juice and olive oil. Add salt and pepper, and enough oil to create the consistency that you like best for humus. It is delicious - thanks Sally! You really can make humus from almost anything that is either a root vegetable or rich in starchy fibre, e.g beans, squash etc.

For those of you who, like me, enjoy a whisky with food here are my 4 fabulous matches for this humus. I wanted something really big in flavour for it and reached immediately for my Highland Park 18yo, which just blended with the bash beautifully, becoming one in the mouth and lingering on the palette. Pat Retson, the Brand Heritage Manager at the distillery on Orkney said to me that the 18yo takes almost any food in its stride and she is so right! My other aged treat is from Speyside, the glorious Glenfarclas 21yo. This sherry cask matured whisky is almost waiting for a challenge and stepped up to the occasion with the broad bean humus. They seasoned and complemented each other beautifully. The sherried notes of the Glenfarclas rose above the humus in the mouth but the bash provided a platform for the high notes of the sherry. I could have been in a tapas bar in Barcelona!

Both these whiskies fall into the Treats category and so I searched my shelves for some other suggestions, looking for a slight smokiness to take on the humus. Outstanding were The One from The Lakes Distillery and Bruichladdich’s blue bottle of Scottish barley distilled into the Classic Laddie. The One has a fairly pronounced smoke which took the robustness of the humus in its stride and, in a slightly less forceful way than the Highland Park, just melted into it whilst adding a little roundness and balance to the bash. I come back to Bruichladdich time and again for a whisky to match more challenging foods as the smoke from that coupled with the slight saltiness and strength of the whisky just seem to make the perfect seasoning to even the most complex of dishes. Yet again it did not disappoint with a summer storm of flavours in my mouth. What treats!

By the way, Sally is Irish and so I should also commend Connemara single malt whiskey which, like The One and Bruicladdich, is about smoke and also creaminess. Again, a delicious match!