“Progress is man’s ability to complicate simplicity.”
It took me a while to sort out what to call this dish. On the one hand I want to be clear about what it is in order that you will know if it is something that might be of interest, but on the other hand, I don’t want to stray too far from tradition. Hushwe is what I called ground lamb with onions when I was growing up. I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume that many of you reading this will not have had a similar name for it. Needless to say I spent a LOT of time in my youth explaining what was in my lunch pail at school.
My kids started eating hushwe with rice and spinach or peas basically as soon as they could handle anything more than mush. So beloved was it that my daughter did a primary school project on it. That love hasn’t dissipated. They still request it with frequency.I just love the yummy face emoticon prior to yummy faced emoticons!
I thought I would make this as a pre-Oscars appetizer ‘cuz well honestly all that sitting around watching rich people in SUPER expensive clothing takes a lot of protein right! I started with just the very basics in mind. The meat although very delicately seasoned for this version, adding some heat it was decided, would not be a bad idea at all.
There was also a suggestion to turn it into a nacho kind of idea which I callously tossed aside like yesterday’s news but hey, if fusion is your thing, go to town! If you do decide to go that route might I suggest that you use some grated halloumi as your source of cheese to at least keep things in the middle eastern flavour family.
The idea for this dish began a few weeks ago when I originally made it with roast veg and haloumi which was very nice but my husband’s immediate response upon trying it went a little like this,
“Yup this is good. It’d be even better with meat.”
Now in fairness to my vegetarian creation, that is pretty much his response to ANYTHING made without meat. But in this case, I did sort of agree! But I think you’ll agree it is definitely pretty if lacking in the meat department.
Menu suggestion: As this is really a substantial appetizer rather than a part of a sit-down meal I might suggest a few other apps to serve with it. How about a plate of Catalan Style Toast with Garlic Confit or an easy Savoury Tart.
Wine Pairing: I have to preface today’s wine pairing from GK to say that he is SUPER busy this week (you know, at his actual job) and as such is not able to give it as much time as he would like… he then went on to make a bunch of recommendations regardless with the proviso that I must try them to see for myself… Gotta love what you do right? So as follows are his suggestions with that minor stipulation. “Lebanon produces very good wines in the Bordeaux style. I would suggest tasting this with a red blend done that way and see what you come out with. Merlot is soft and might work well, but needs to be blended with something peppery like Cab Franc or Malbec. Malbec is peppery and would certainly work well on its own. Chateau Musar is one I have had, it has a Bordeaux character.”
Enjoy & Namaste!
- 1 lb ground lamb
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 medium onion sliced, sauteed until golden brown
- Hummus, about 1 or 2 cups depending on the size of your crowd (& plate!) I prefer homemade but there are plenty of good quality store bought if that is your preference. The recipe I've linked
foryou is for a crushed hummus, you need only puree instead of crushing by hand for this use. Pinenuts, toasted OPTIONAL
- Za'atar to garnish
- Lemon to finish
- 2 large or 4 small loaves pita bread, cut into triangles,
- olive oil for grilling
- Sauté lamb until deeply brown, breaking apart as you go.
- Add garlic toward the end of cooking
- Season with S&P
- Remove to a bowl and keep warm
- In the same pan, sauté onions until dark golden
- You can be toasting pine nuts at the same time if you are using them. I toast them dry in a small cast iron, shaking the pan frequently over medium-high heat. Very carefully mind you as they will burn quickly.
- Lightly coat one side of your pita wedges and grill under broil or in a cast iron pan. I use a panini machine cuz I have one and also cuz I burn bread LIKE EVERYSINGLETIME if I try to broil it.
- Spread your hummus on a large plate, top with
hushwe, onions, pine nuts if using, a bit of za'atar and a squish of lemon