Saturday, July 15, 2006

more introductions, and hummus

The other impetus for this blog, besides the fact that I'm lousy at create-your-own recipe, is that I've been thinking increasingly about where my food comes from, and what its life was like
before it got there.

There are approximately eighty-seven million five thousand and three other people talking about these types of issues at this very moment - some, even, in the Washington Post, so I won't belabor any points right now. Maybe in some future posts.

Suffice it to say that I'm a Mollie Katzen wannabe who loves her tiny, tenacious food co-op as well as the plethora of farmer's markets in DC, with special shout-outs to the Dupont Circle Farmer's Market, which is open year-round, and the Adam's Morgan Farmer's Market, which is cheap and accepts WIC coupons and doesn't have a website.

And so, without further ado, an innaugural recipe (which - gasp! - is a little imprecise, for me. It's also very forgiving. Take a deep breath and just start sprinkling that cumin - it'll be fine.)

Basic Hummus
(Think hummus is a mysterious substance that grows pre-packaged in little plastic Whole Foods containers? Think again...)

  • 1 1/2 - 2 cups cooked chickpeas (One small can works fine. You can also buy them dry, soak them overnight, and cook in simmering water until tender)
  • 1 heaping tablespoon tahini (aka sesame paste)
  • juice of one lemon
  • one clove of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 - 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • water, as needed
  • paprika, for garnish (optional)
  • Drain chickpeas. Pour into a blender or food processor, along with tahini, lemon juice, garlic, and cumin.
  • Add a small amount (1/4 cup or so) of water.
  • Blend or process until smooth. You may need to turn off the blender/food processer and stir occasionally, to ensure that all chickpeas are crushed. You may also need to add more water, if the hummus isn't getting smooth enough for your liking.
  • Scoop into your desired serving or storing container, and garnish with a sprinkle of paprika, if desired.
NOTE: hummus will get both less liquidy and less garlicky over time. If you like your hummus firmer, and your garlic mellower, make hummus at least a day ahead and refrigerate until you're ready to eat it.

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