The first time I had fresh warm hummus in a Middle Eastern restaurant, I thought, “No wonder Christ chose to be born into a Jewish family!” I love Greek olives, olive oil, fresh pita bread, honey, walnuts, dates, goat cheese… all of which you can get your hands on in the cradle of civilization.
This recipe comes from a Naval Nasrallah’s second edition of Delights from the Garden of Eden, republished last year (2013).
Hummus bi-Tahina yield 3 cups
- 1 1/2 cups yellow split chickpeas, picked over and washed (12 oz/340 grams) (or two 15 1/2 oz cans, drained and liquid reserved)
- 2 cloves of garlic finely diced
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (125 ml)
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 Tbls. olive oil
- 1/2- 3/4 cup tahini (125-180 ml)
In a medium pot, add to the split chickpeas abut 3 1/2 cups cold water. Bring to a quick boil, skimming as needed. Turn heat to low, and simmer, covered, about 30 minutes, or until chickpeas look mushy, and most of the liquid has evaporated. (Do not drain. Let cool completely. The mixture will look watery when hot, but it will be firmer when cold.)
Strain the chickpeas, but reserve their liquid. Put cooled or canned chickpeas in a food processor and puree for a minute or two. If they look rather dry, (as mine did even when cooked fresh) add 1/4 cup of reserved liquid.
Add garlic, cumin, lemon juice, salt, olive oil, and tahini. Blend for a minute or two until mixture begins to smooth. Taste it and adjust the saltiness and lemon flavor, adjusting as needed.
If it still looks rather dry, add more of the reserved liquid or more tahini. The recipe called for blending for only 1 or 2 minutes, but I found that I had to blend for quite a while to achieve the correct consistency. Refrigerate to increase flavor for at least one hour before serving.
I eat this for breakfast, and when I do, I follow my recipe below
- 1 cup fresh spinach
- 1 Tbls. olive oil
- 1 tsp. lemon juice
- 2 Tbls. pine nuts
- 1 cup washed baby carrots
- 1/4 cup fresh hummus
Heat small skillet over medium high heat and add pine nuts.
Chop spinach very fine. Stir pine nuts to keep from burning.
In a second, but non-stick, skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat and add spinach and lemon juice. Stir pine nuts until browned lightly and remove from heat.
Once spinach has wilted, add hummus, mixing with the spinach and turning often to keep it from sticking, but creating a slightly toasted exterior. Once warmed all the way through, turn out onto a small plate.
Sprinkle the toasted pine nuts over the hummus mixture and use as a dip for the carrots.