Friday, January 7, 2011

Hummus Platter

I was craving something light and fresh for dinner and hummus is one of Shannon's favorites. I received a pressure cooker from Shannon's dad in our not-so-secret-Santa gift exchange, and tonight was a perfect night to break that puppy in. Oh, it is so beautiful, shiny and new! I had not soaked my beans the night before as suggested, so they took about 3 times longer to cook (which was only 30 minutes) than they would have had I soaked them. Buying dried beans and cooking them on my own is somehow incredibly satisfying. You cannot beat canned beans when it comes to convenience, but dried beans are way cheaper. Plus, not having to recycle two aluminium cans when all is said and done makes me feel good.

I am a recycling fanatic (ask anybody!), and I try to purchase goods whose packaging can be recycled. Even then, I try to reduce the amount of recycling we accumulate by buying less processed foods, buying in bulk, and bringing my own containers as well as reusable grocery bags to the store with me. It is estimated that the US uses 100 billion plastic bags a year; that is 12 million barrels of oil just to produce plastic bags for human use. Second only to cigarette butts, plastic bags are the most common type of ocean refuse. So, please, if you do not already, start bringing your own reusable grocery bags to the store with you.

Thank you for reading my public service announcement...on to the recipes! If you do not want leftover hummus within the next couple of days, halve the recipe.

Serves 4
Total Time: 10 minutes

2 15-ounce cans of garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed or 1 cup dried garbanzo beans
2-3 cloves garlic
3 tbs sesame tahini
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup water, more or less for desired thickness
1/2 tsp kosher salt, more to taste
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of paprika

Place half the chickpeas and olive oil in a blender or food processor. Pulse several times, stopping to stir with a rubber spatula. When the mixture is almost pureed and creamy, add the remaining chickpeas and oil, lemon juice, tahini, garlic, and a little salt. Pulse, stopping to stir several times, until the mixture is very creamy. Season with salt and pepper. You can chill before serving or eat as is. Place in a bowl, dust with paprika and drizzle a bit of olive oil on the top.

Olive Tapenade
Makes 1 cup

1/4 of a red bell pepper, roughly chopped
1/2 of a carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled
1/2 can black olives

Place first three ingredients in a mini food chopper and pulse several times to mince. Add olives and pulse until mixture is finely chopped.

Serve hummus and tapenade with fresh cut veggies and a baguette. Enjoy!


  1. That hummus was the BOMB! I could taste the freshness! Great job love! This is also a perfect dinner to prepare the night before and it will be just as good!

  2. Ummm...YUM!!! I want you to make this for me when I see you next. This made me hungry! You are so good, my little chef sister!