Recipe: Nigella Lawson's sweet potato and chickpea dip
Recipe comes from U.K. celebrity chef Nigella Lawson's new cookbook Simply Nigella
For English journalist, television chef and cookbook author Nigella Lawson, comfort food doesn't mean bland, nostalgic food.
For me the comfort of food and the comfort of cooking is actually quite uplifting," she told North by Northwest host Sheryl MacKay.
"It's not about stultifying or making you feel like slowed down and less awake to the world, it's not an escape for me, it's a way of intensifying being alive."
In fact, one of the chapters in her new cookbook Simply Nigella is called Bowl Food, because, as she told MacKay, "I very much enjoy the rather inelegant shovelling of food into my mouth from a bowl."
Lawson shared one of her comforting recipes with North by Northwest:
Sweet potato and chickpea dip
- 1¾ pounds sweet potatoes
- 1 head of garlic, whole and unpeeled
- 2 limes, preferably unwaxed
- 2 teaspoons smoked sea salt flakes (though regular sea salt flakes or kosher salt will do), or to taste
- ½ teaspoon pimentón dulce or paprika
- 1¼ cups chickpeas, home-cooked or drained from a can or jar
- 1½-inch piece (2½ teaspoons) fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
- 2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds
The minute the sweet potatoes are in the oven, cut the stalk end off the garlic, leaving the tips of the cloves exposed, and then wrap loosely in aluminum foil, sealing the ends tightly to form a baggy parcel, and roast with the sweet potatoes. This should probably be ready in 45 minutes, but I leave it for the hour with the sweet potatoes.
Add the finely grated zest from both limes, and the juice from one, the smoked salt, pimentón dulce (or paprika), chickpeas, and finely grated ginger, and then blitz with a stick blender (or use a food processor) to make your dip.
MAKE AHEAD NOTE: The sweet potato and garlic can be made up to 3 days ahead and kept, wrapped in aluminum foil or in a covered container, in refrigerator.
To hear the full interview listen to the audio labelled: U.K. celebrity chef Nigella Lawson talks about what comfort food means to her, and what inspires her in the kitchen