I realized something the other day.
I can’t remember the last time I read a book that didn’t have to do with food or nutrition! There’s nothing wrong with that is there?
Right now I’m totally into the 5 (yes 5!) new cookbooks I got for Christmas. Oh – in case you didn’t know, I have a small cookbook collection. And I’ve only kept it small because of lack of space. I mean you only have so much room when you live in an apartment. Hopefully someday soon that will change and I’ll have all the space for all the cookbooks!
Oh sorry – I got distracted. Anyway, it’s really sort of funny my cookbook collection because I don’t ever really follow a recipe. I know, I know – it’s crazy and I don’t really know the reason. I love perusing the books and reading the recipes and stories behind the recipes. But when it comes to actually following a recipe the way it’s written – nope, it doesn’t happen. So why do I have all the cookbooks then? For inspiration. I like to see what flavors are put together, what cooking techniques are used – you get the idea.
But this time was different. One of my new cookbooks was from a favorite restaurant of mine, which just happens to be right here in Philly – Zahav. Are you familiar? If not, you should get acquainted. It’s oh-so good. And they quite possibly have the most delicious hummus ever. Oh – did I mention that I also happen to be a hummus freak? Yup, sure am. I spread it on everything – toast, sandwiches, crackers. And I’m rarely without a tub of hummus and cut-up veggies for dipping.
Let’s talk a minute about hummus. Chickpeas. Tahini. Garlic. Olive Oil. There’s a lot of good stuff in there! Fiber. Protein. Calcium. Iron. Phosphorus. Vitamin C. Omega-3. Just to name a few – no wonder I’m a hummus freak!
Okay, back the most delicious hummus ever. When I got this precious recipe in my hands there was no way I wasn’t going follow this recipe! I had to find out why this hummus was the so delicious. Hummus is pretty simple, so why does this one taste so much better? You know what it is? It’s the tehina, aka tahini.
So what’s tahini? Pretty simple – roasted and ground sesame seeds. These little seeds have been around for a pretty long time. And while they may not be in the spotlight like some other seeds, they’re packed with nutrition. These little seeds are an excellent source of the essential trace mineral copper, which helps with iron absorption and the body formation of red blood cells. It’s also a very good source of manganese, another trace mineral which helps with calcium absorption and the breakdown of fat and carbohydrates.
So I’ll admit, while this is clearly is the best hummus I’ve ever had, this recipe is a little extra work. First the tahini is made into a delicious sauce then blended with the chickpeas. It was worth it though – this recipe makes a lot of sauce, enough for about 3 batches of hummus. Hmmm, I think I see lots of Zahav hummus in my future.
Oh and I have to admit, I did change one little thing. (See I told you!). I pressure cooked the dried chickpeas to speed up the process a bit and it worked like a charm.
Have you had hummus?
- 1 cup dried chickpeas
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1½ cups tahini sauce (recipe below)
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- Sumac for dusting
- 1 head of garlic
- juice from 3 lemons
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 cups tahini
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- Soak chickpeas overnight in a bowl of water with 1 teaspoon baking soda.
- The next day, drain chickpeas and place in pressure cooker. Add one teaspoon baking soda and cold water to cover by about 3 inches.
- Pressure cook on high for about 20 minutes.
- Once cooked, drain chickpeas and add to food processor along with tahini sauce, salt and cumin.
- Puree until creamy and smooth.
- Serve with a dusting of sumac if desired.
- Break up the head of garlic and place in food processor.
- Add lemon juice and salt. Blend together until you get a coarse sauce.
- Let stand 10-15 minutes.
- Strain sauce and place in bowl.
- Add tahini and cumin.
- Whisk together until smooth. You will need to add cold water a little at a time to thin out mixture. Total water used about 1½ to 1¾ cups.
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