Greetings, My Hungry Friends :)
For this week's offering, I submit to you what my friend Liz calls (with my enthusiastic agreement) *Sex in a Bowl*, or, for those of you who have not yet had the pleasure: Hummus (or, as some would spell it, Humos).
Hummus is one of those foods that transports me. Hummus with pita or veggies will always take me instantly, in my mind at least, to the Mediterranean, along with my other great loves, dolmades and tzatziki, but that's another blog. Ahh, hummus, earthy, spicy (if you want it to be), unctuous,and.....wait for it.....healthy?!?! I'm there :) Another thing I love about hummus is its blank canvas quality, one base recipe can be flavored virtually any way you want.
This latest hummus making adventure was for a Greek-themed potluck dinner with a large group of my friends. The base recipe was taken from *The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook*, written by the venerable Ina Garten. This lady knows her stuff. Not a single one of her recipes has ever let me down. Ever. Her cookbooks are an excellent investment that you will turn to again and again. I really only made one adjustment to her base recipe, which was to oven- roast the garlic before adding it to the other ingredients. You don't know how to roast garlic, you say? Miss Lynn is here to help :)
Oven Roasted Garlic
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 medium sized bulb of garlic (or however many you want to roast)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Peel as much of the papery-white outer skin off the garlic bulb as you can, while still leaving the bulb intact.
- Carefully cut off the top 1/2 inch of the garlic bulb (the pointy part), so that tops of the individual garlic cloves are exposed.
- Drizzle the olive oil over the exposed cloves and rub the oil into the garlic cloves so that each one is lightly coated
- Place the garlic bulb(s) on a sheet pan and cover with aluminum foil. (You could also wrap the bulb in aluminum foil and place on the sheet pan.
- Roast garlic at 350 degrees for approximately 30-35 minutes, or until cloves are golden brown and soft.
- When garlic is cool enough to handle safely, gently squeeze the cloves from the bulb. Add to recipe, or, alternatively, spread on bread or use to flavor dipping oil, YUMYUMYUMYUM! Added bonus: roasting garlic will make your house smell AWESOME!!!
And now, on to the hummus :)
( Note: I doubled the quantity of this recipe, since I was feeding 12 people, but here are the original proportions. Obviously, it can be easily doubled or even tripled)
- 2 cups canned chickpeas (sometimes labeled as garbanzo beans) drained, liquid reserved
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 4 roasted garlic cloves, or to taste (I used an entire bulb of garlic in my double batch, but I realize that might not appeal to everyone)
- 1/3 cup tahini (sesame paste) It can usually be found in the ethnic section of your grocery store, with other Mediterranean ingredients)
- 6 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about two lemons). *the lemon juice HAS to be fresh, the bottled stuff tastes too bitter and chemical-y and will ruin the flavor of the hummus.
- 2 tablespoons of water or the reserved liquid from the chickpeas.
- 8 dashes of hot sauce ( the original recipe calls for Tabasco sauce, but all I had on hand was Frank's Red Hot sauce, and it worked great).
- Place all the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade and process until the hummus is coarsely pureed. Taste for seasoning. This can be served chilled or at room temperature. Drizzle with some extra virgin olive oil and serve with pita bread and/or veggies for dipping.
After making this initial batch, I had some base ingredients left over. After a pantry search I found a jar of roasted red peppers, and altered the above recipe slightly to make some Roasted Red Pepper Hummus.
- Make the above hummus base recipe with the following substitutions:
OMIT: -the roasted garlic
ADD: -1 jar of roasted red peppers and their juice
- 4 cloves regular garlic or to taste
- a few splashes of liquid from a jar of hot peppers (I used the liquid from homemade hot pepper/olive salad, which you can also get at the olive bar or salad bar of most grocery stores. Drain some of the liquid off of that if you have it on hand, it'll give the hummus a nice kick:)
-Taste for seasonings
- Serve as above, room temperature or chilled with a drizzle of olive oil, pita and/or veggies for dipping.
Oh Yeah :)
Until Next Time!