Israeli-Style Hummus

Israeli Style Hummus

Hummus is one of those go to appetizers that everyone loves.  It is great with vegetables and crackers, and much healthier than the traditional “onion dip” which is why it has such a great reputation, and you can pretty much find it anywhere.  But how many of you have actually tried to make it from scratch?  I am not just talking about making it with canned chickpeas, I am talking the real deal – nothing from a can.

Last year my dear friend and colleague from Israel brought me some real Israeli tahini during one of her visits to the states.  At that point, I thought about making hummus, but the canned chickpeas where dragging me down.  I just didn’t want to ruin that authentic tahini with something canned.  Then something happened.  A pound of dried chickpeas showed up in my weekly market basket.  I had never even seen them before – but they had hummus written all over them.  Again though – they sat in my pantry for months – until the last and final sign came.  It was this recipe printed in Bon Appetit.  Seriously, the universe was somehow telling me that I had to make this.  So this time I listened – and wow.  This is no ordinary hummus – this is silky smooth, and packed with a nutty fresh flavor.  I could eat it with a spoon.  And it was so good, I made another batch two weeks later.  I know, I have no time to cook, bake, or post on this blog anymore, but somehow I carved out enough time to make this hummus twice in a month.  That’s saying something right there…

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dried chickpeas
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda, divided
  • 4 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • cup (or more) fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more
  • cup tahini
  • ¼ teaspoon (or more) ground cumin
  • Olive oil (for serving)

Preparation

Place chickpeas and 1 tsp. baking soda in a medium bowl and add cold water to cover by 2″. Cover and let sit at room temperature until chickpeas have doubled in size, 8–12 hours. Drain and rinse.

Combine soaked chickpeas and remaining 1 tsp. baking soda in a large saucepan and add cold water to cover by at least 2″. Bring to a boil, skimming surface as needed. Reduce heat to medium-low, partially cover, and simmer until chickpeas are tender and really falling apart, 45–60 minutes. Drain; set aside.

Meanwhile, process garlic, lemon juice, and 1 tsp. salt in a food processor until coarsely puréed; let sit 10 minutes to allow garlic to mellow.

Strain garlic mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a small bowl, pressing on solids to release as much liquid as possible. Return liquid to food processor; discard solids. Add tahini and pulse to combine. With motor running, add ¼ cup ice water by the tablespoonful and process (it may seize up at first) until mixture is very smooth, pale, and thick. Add chickpeas and cumin and process, occasionally scraping down sides, until mixture is extremely smooth, about 4 minutes. Thin with more water if you prefer a looser consistency; taste and season with salt, more lemon juice, and more cumin as desired.

Spoon hummus into a shallow bowl, making a well in the center, and drizzle liberally with oil. Top as desired.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here:  Israeli Style Hummus

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Guacamole

I love Guacamole – and I have been making it for years – but until last year I was making it the wrong way.  Last year for a team morale event, we went and took a cooking class taught by a local chef.  We chose a mexican theme – and made tamales.  As an added bonus – she showed us how to make some pretty spectacular fresh salsa and guacamole.  When she pulled out the food processor to make the guacamole, I thought there was something wrong.  I had never heard of making guacamole in a food processor.  For some reason, I thought that grinding avocado up would result in somewhat of an avocado disaster.  Boy was I wrong.  It made the creamiest, most delicious guacamole I had ever tasted.

When I am lazy, and I don’t feel like washing a lot of dishes, I still smash the avocados the old-fashioned way…but when I have some fresh cilantro, and I am looking to really make something special,  I use the food processor – and I always vow to never go back again.  The recipe below is the very mild version that I make.  If I am making it for adults only, I add a jalapeno pepper.  If you are looking for some serious heat – add a serrano pepper.

Ingredients

  • 3-4 ripe avocados
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 1 jalapeno or serrano pepper, seeds removed (optional)
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • salt and pepper

Preparation

While the food process is on, drop the garlic into the feeding tube and wait until the garlic is finely minced.  If you are looking for some heat, add the chile pepper.  Add the avocado, cilantro and fresh lime juice.  Mix with the food processor until nice and creamy.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here:  Guacamole

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