Sunday, December 14, 2008

Joan Nathan's Hummus

1 cup dried chickpeas
1 cup tahina
1/2 cup lemon juice, or to taste
2 cloves garlic, or to taste
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, or to taste
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons pine nuts
Dash of paprika or sumac
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley or cilantro

1. Put the raw chickpeas in a bowl with cold water to cover and soak overnight.
2. Drain and rinse the chickpeas, then place them in a heavy pot with enough cold water to cover. Bring to a boil, then simmer, partially covered, for about an hour or until the chickpeas are soft and the skin begins to separate. Add more water as needed.
3. Drain the chickpeas, reserving about 1-1/2cups of the cooking liquid. Set aside 1/4cup of the cooked chickpeas for garnish. In a food processor fitted with a steel blade, process the remaining chickpeas with the tahina, lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper, cumin, and at least 1/2 cup of the reserved cooking liquid. If the hummus is too thick, add more reserved cooking liquid or water until you have a paste-like consistency.
4. Heat a frying pan and add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Spread the pine nuts in the pan and stir-fry, browning on all sides.
5. To serve, transfer the hummus to a large, flat plate, and with the back of a spoon make a slight depression in the center. Drizzle the remaining olive oil on top and sprinkle the reserved chickpeas, pine nuts, paprika or sumac, and parsley or cilantro over the surface.
6. Serve with cut-up raw vegetables and warm pita cut into wedges

YIELD: About four cups, or six-to-eight servings

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