Monday, March 12, 2012

Hummus Served Hot

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Our good friend from college, Juliana, is a contributing writer for Big Girls Small Kitchen, and heard about a unique project going on in the food-blogging world.  A group of food bloggers decided to cook their way through Mark Bittman's newest cookbook, The Food Matters Cookbook.  Mark Bittman is a writer for the New York Times and is a leader in the sustainable food world.  His columns in the Times and cookbooks advocate for healthy and wholesome cooking that focuses on vegetarian ingredients.  Naturally, when we heard about this project, we were eager to join and experiment with all sorts of recipes.

The project is called the Food Matters project and each week a participating blogger hosts and chooses a recipe from Bittman's cookbook.  The other bloggers then prepare and blog about their own version of the recipe and post it on the Food Matters project website.  We think that this will be a great way to be more a part of the food blogging community and help support a cause we really believe in (plus it gave us an excuse to buy a new cookbook!).

We'll be participating most weeks and adapting each recipe to our own preferences (especially when the recipes aren't vegetarian) and we hope you enjoy reading about our experiences and check out some of the other participating blogs.

This week the recipe was "Hummus Served Hot" chosen by Erin of Naturally Ella.  We've been making homemade hummus on a weekly basis for a long time but are always looking for new twists on it.  Bittman's recipe is a very basic recipe which leaves room for plenty of personal adaptations.  What makes this recipe unique is that it is served hot.

We decided to personalize this recipe by adding some dill that we happened to have which we had never tried before but added a delicious and bright flavor.  We also added our own twist by cooking the dry chickpeas in a unique way.

To get the chickpeas light and airy we added baking soda to the soaking water and the boiling water.  This methods works really well for making hummus because it allows extra water to soak into the chickpeas and thus creates a remarkably smooth final product.  Be warned though, this method should not be used for anything but hummus because the texture is too soft for falafel, salads, soups, etc.

If hummus is in your daily diet like it is for us (or even if you've never made it before), try this, and the other, unique takes on the classic recipe and definitely try using baking soda!  You'll never be buying store-made hummus, or canned chickpeas, again.

Hummus Served Hot
Adapted from The Food Matters Cookbook.  Find the original recipe at Naturally Ella.

3 cups cooked chickpeas (soaked and boiled with 1 tbs baking soda in each batch until soft)
1 cup of reserved cooking liquid
2 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup of tahini
4 tbs lemon juice
Zest from 1 lemon
1/2 cup dill, stems included
Salt and pepper to taste

Puree all ingredients together in food processor except for 1/2 cup of cooking liquid.  Puree until smooth and stream in remaining liquid until desired consistency is reached.

Transfer puree to a saucepan and heat over medium until heated through.  Adjust for seasoning and a touch more fresh lemon juice.

Serve with pita, vegetables, couscous, or anything else that tastes good.

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