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Who would have ever thought some simple mashed up beans could taste soooo good?  Hummus is my friend.  My buddy.  We met years ago in Chicago, at Reza’s, the best Persian restaurant in town.  God, I (sigh) miss that place.  When I moved to San Francisco, there was really nothing that compared to Reza’s – not even close.  So I started buying those little plastic tubs of hummus from the supermarket whenever I had a hankering for it, which basically meant I was buying a whole lot of hummus.  But something never felt quite right.  I missed my old buddy.

One day, I finally decided to make my own and discovered what a fool I had been.  Not only could I whip up a batch of hummus in 2.5 minutes flat, but I realized I’d spent a small fortune on those little tubs.  For the cost of a single tub, I could produce at least 5 humongous – more delicious – batches in the comfort of my own home.  Now, I normally buy beans dried, and in bulk, but for some reason, canned chickpeas work fabulously for hummus.

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Speaking of chickpeas, did you know ground roasted chickpeas are sometimes brewed instead of coffee in parts of Germany?  I can’t decide if I find that fascinating or disgusting.  I digress.  In addition to the smokiness of the cumin, I add a tiny bit of tumeric to my hummus for an extra kick.  I also happen to love the color.  And like most things involving garlic and lemon – the more garlicky and lemony, the better for me.  I must say, though, the best part about this recipe is that it doesn’t require you to buy a $10 jar of tahini – a good thing when you’re trying to recoup years of wasted cash spent on mediocre hummus.  My old buddy is back – and here to stay.

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Heavenly Hummus
Tweaked from The Best Recipes in the World by Mark Bittman

If you don’t happen to have my penchant for garlic and lemon, start off with 1 clove and 1/2 of a lemon before you commit to the dark side.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup drained organic canned chickpeas, liquid reserved
  • 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus oil for drizzling
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/8 tsp ground tumeric
  • Juice of 1 lemon, plus more as needed
  • Chopped fresh parsley leaves for garnish
  • Paprika for sprinkling and garnish

Method

Put everything except the parsley in a food processor and begin to process; add the 2-3 tbsp chickpea liquid (or more as needed) to allow the machine to produce a smooth puree.  Taste and adjust the seasoning.  Serve, drizzled with the olive oil and sprinkled with a bit of paprika and some parsley.

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