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Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Leila's Hummus

Well, after Leila's visit to L&C (just before she got in the paper for one of her non-foodie activities - whoohoo!), I had to make HER hummus when I finally started getting over the cold.

I appreciated its lemony freshness, although I probably could have done with one lemon because I was using one off my tree and it was huge.

Leila's Hummous
1 can (15 oz.) chickpeas (garbanzos)
2 - 3 tablespoons tahini
2+ lemons, juiced and strained
2 - 3 cloves garlic, pressed or crushed (use fresh - no substitutes!)
Olive oil
Paprika for garnish
Olive for garnish

Drain the chickpeas, reserving some of the liquid. You may also reserve a few whole chickpeas for garnish. Some like to rinse away the taste of the can with fresh water.

If you are committed to "slow" food, and if the taste of freshly cooked chickpeas is important to you, soak a cup of dry chickpeas overnight, drain, then cover generously with water and simmer until tender. Depending on the age of the legume, this could take two or three hours. Reserve some of the cooking water.

If you want to be extremely meticulous, rub the outer skins off all the chickpeas, using your fingers. This lends an incredibly smooth, creamy texture. Most hummous today is made with the skins still on! I usually skip this step.

Combine chickpeas, garlic, tahini in a food processor and blend; add lemon juice gradually. The mixture should become smooth and spreadable, like a thick cake batter. Proportions of tahini and lemon juice depend upon taste and feel. Add bean liquid if it seems too "dry" and pasty.

Be sure to blend until all chickpeas are utterly pulverized. Salt sparingly if using canned - chickpeas may already be salted.

Turn out into a shallow bowl. Serve at room temperature, sprinkle with paprika, garnish with an olive or a few reserved whole chickpeas, and drizzle with best quality olive oil. Serve pita bread cut into triangles, sliced baguettes, or raw vegetables for dipping.

April 26, 2004 in Food and Drink | Permalink

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