Saturday, January 30, 2016

It's Always Time for HUMMUS

Americans think of hummus as a dip; Arabs think of hummus as a meal—especially at breakfast time. Early in the morning, children scurry down streets in their pajamas, or with a dress or jacket thrown over pajamas. Each child carries a plate and a few coins, and all heading for the nearest hummus maker. Nothing beats good hummus with fresh pita bread for breakfast—unless you add falafel.
Breakfast doesn't last all day, but hummus can. For many families in the Arab world, the main meal of the day is at midday. If someone, or several someones happen to visit at meal time, a quick trip to the local hummus maker can stretch every meal to accommodate everyone.
 Unfortunately, where we live, there is no local hummus maker. So... I make my own. We haven't found a pre-made hummus that suits us, but it isn't hard to make.

  Add a can of chickpeas, tahini (sesame seed paste), lemon juice, and a little garlic in a food processor and let 'er rip. Make sure it is a smooth paste and not grainy. Canned chickpeas work just as well as cooked dried chickpeas, although there are purists who disagree. Don't forget to keep out a few chickpeas to use as garnish.

Finish the garnish with sumac and parsley. Top with extra virgin olive oil, and it's ready to go.

I did say hummus was good anytime, didn't I?

Ever have a day with no inspiration for dinner? Try this: Crumble some ground meat in a skillet, add some pine nuts that have been lightly browned in olive oil. Instead of the sumac and parsley, put the meat on a dish of hummus. Top with browned pine nuts. Serve with a veggie platter—and add some pickled turnips, or dill pickles if you can't find turnips.

If you want to top your hummus with some of the best olive oil in the world, try some made from olives grown in Palestine. I buy mine from Canaan Fair Trade. They sell all kinds of great food.

This video shows a Palestinian woman making hummus with a blender. While she doesn't use as much tahini as I would use, I love watching the family eat. Notice that they use little snippets of bread and pop the whole thing in their mouths. No double dipping, just sharing.

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