Every summer, I have an epiphany. Fuelled by my ongoing wanderlust. I wake up and want to explore. I want to go on adventures. I want to jump in a car and drive to the mountains and climb to the highest peak. I want to find a fresh water fall and shower in it. I want to feel the coastal sand between my toes. I want to ride the biggest wave in Cornwall. Climb the biggest tree in Wales. I want to go on road trips to everywhere and nowhere. Just hop in the car and drive. My unwritten bucket list is forever expanding in my mind. Increasing with the lists of others that I read all over the web. I want to do it ALL, all the time.
I get serious envy at all the adventures plastered over Instagram and Facebook. Snow capped peaks in the Rockies. Endless strips of sand on the south coast. Crystal clear oceans and diamond starry skies.
Then I sit back, take a deep breath and I look around. I breath it all in, I drink it in; my surroundings, the smell of the air, the light. It took me a long time to realise I AM living those adventures. My current view is a long strip of Scottish hills, rolling green fields, more different shades of green than I think I’ve ever seen. And the hundreds of swallows, those jittery sweet little things, swooping around.
I get to explore a different area of the UK every week this summer. THIS IS AN ADVENTURE. I wake up outside, I cook outside, I live outside, heck, I pretty much wash outside. What an amazing opportunity that is.
I whipped up this dip to go with one of the crew lunches this week. Their meals are pretty heavy on the meat side most of the time, so I try to sneak in some extra veggies wherever I can, but shhhh, don’t tell them.
Roasted Red Pepper and Basil Dip (v) (gf)
3-4 red peppers
300g chickpeas (soaked and cooked or tinned will work)
Handful fresh basil
2 teaspoons Ras El Hanout
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Juice from half a lemon
Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 5 / 190 C
First, roast your red peppers. Lay whole peppers on a baking tray and place in the oven for 20 mins. Until the skins start to char black. Remove from oven and leave to cool slightly.
Once the peppers are cool enough to touch, rub off their blackened skin. I sometimes do this in a bowl of cool water as I find it helps the skin ease off.
Once you have removed the skin, de seed the peppers and remove their stalk.
Add the peppers, along with all the other ingredients into a food processor. Blend until smooth, around 3 mins.