Continuing with the Beans & Greens theme, today I propose Hummus. This recipe is adapted from Claudia Roden’s Humus bi Tahina found in her book The New Book of Middle Eastern Food which is an updated and enlarged version of her earlier Book of Middle Eastern Food. Either edition is a great resource and I recommend them highly.
You may be familiar with hummus, that ubiquitous spread/dip made from chickpeas (garbanzo beans) that can be found in most middle-Eastern cuisines and is probably one of the best known dishes outside of the middle-East. On its home grounds, hummus is thought of as a salad puree but in the West it’s usually presented as a dip for pita bread or crudités.
Following up on it’s salad origins, and echoing the beans, bread and greens format of the Migas in the last Beans & Greens post, I’m treating it as both; a dip of sorts for pita, and as a “dressing” of sorts for sturdy greens, in this case Romaine lettuce although it would be equally good with Belgian Endive or any other green sturdy enough to be dipped into the hummus. Of course, you could use other vegetables of the sort found in crudité plates but I’m on a beans & greens theme and I’m sticking with it.
Hummus bi Tahina
1 can, 16 oz. chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
Juice of 2 fresh lemons
4 Tbs. Tahina (sesame paste)
2 cloves garlic, mashed
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 Tbs. olive oil
Romain or Belgian Endive, washed and dried and left as a whole leaf
Pita, lightly toasted
Blend all the ingredients except the lettuce and pita into a puree in a food processor. Blend to whatever consistency you like, from very smooth to slightly chunky. Pour the puree into a shallow serving dish and serve with pita and sturdy greens like Romaine or Endive for dipping, allowing the eater to tear off bite-sized chunks of either the pita or lettuce to dip into the hummus. For a slightly “richer” presentation drizzle a bit of best quality olive oil over the top of the puree. Serves 2 as a sturdy lunch or 6-8 an appetizer.