A Recipe for Hummus

hummus

I have a household comprised of 75% adventurous, I’ll-try-anything eaters, and 25% “I’ll have beans, please” eaters.  My son, Mr. Selective, is crazy for pretty much any legume and I’ve tried hard to hang on to any foods remotely nutritious that he’ll eat.

But like I said, he’s selective. He has particular tastes and opinions about the food he eats (and shouldn’t we all, really?)  He loves hummus but not just any kind. Most store brands are too grainy or too garlicky or have too much cumin or not enough cumin or not enough lemon (actually this last part is also a complaint of mine. People are afraid of the acid. Embrace it! Lemon makes life, and food, bright!)  He prefers the hummus served at a couple of local restaurants and after many attempts, I’ve finally created the perfect recipe.

And today I’m sharing it with you! So get ready to makes some delicious hummus!

What you’ll need:
Ingredients

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  • 3 cans garbanzo beans, drained but reserve the liquid from one can (you can cook up your own dry beans and use those. Be sure to reserve about a cup of the cooking liquid. I didn’t have time to cook my own, so canned it is. If you want to control the amount of sodium, purchase “no added salt” beans.)
  • 1-2 juicy lemons (when selecting lemons at the store, go for the thinner skinned ones. You want smooth, thin, yellow fruit that should feel heavy for their size)
  • 2 small garlic cloves (more if you like your hummus garlicky)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, divided (I know this sound like a lot. Trust me on this.)
  • 1/4 cup tahini (don’t skip on this ingredient. Most grocery stores now carry this product.)
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin (or more if you like)
  • salt to taste
  • Paprika for serving

Directions:

  1. In a food processor, combine garlic cloves, 2 T of olive oil, and 1/4 cup tahini. Process until the mixture is smooth and well incorporated.
  2. Drain the garbanzo beans, reserving the liquid from one can, and add ONLY the beans to the food processor. Process until beginning to become smooth.
  3. With the food processor still running, slowly add the reserved liquid until you reach a very smooth consistency (I usually end up using all the liquid however if you like your hummus thicker and less creamy, use less liquid).
  4. Stop the processor and taste. Now is a good time to add salt if you think it needs it. Because the canned beans are pretty salty, I didn’t add any to my recipe.
  5. Adding the lemon – I started with the juice of half a lemon. Add the juice, process, then taste. Keep doing this until the hummus has enough lemon for your taste.
  6. Adding cumin – Cumin is a very pungent herb and lends depth to recipes. I started with a pinch of ground cumin, processed, then tasted. Sometimes I add none and sometimes I had as much as 1/2 tsp depending on how many beans I’ve used.
  7. Mr. Selective loves his hummus served with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of paprika. When you’re ready to serve, drizzle the remain olive oil over the top and sprinkle with paprika.
  8. Enjoy!

Hummus is a food I make weekly and we usually have one dinner a week where it is the main event. I serve it with Greek cucumber-tomato salad, various raw veggies, greens, warmed pita, and olives and feta. Other times (like I’m doing right now as I type this), I just eat it with a spoon!

 

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*Conversations with Ben – 3.18.12

*Conversations with Ben was something that I had started doing on previous versions of my blog experience. The wit and wisdom of a preschooler just can’t be beat.

On our way home from breakfast with my family, celebrating my uncle’s birthday. We had eating at a local favorite Mexican food restaurant and I had deviated from my usual breakfast for something richer and much more delicious, but with less than great results.  Ben’s comment:

“You know mommy, when you eat karmic masalad it makes your tummy hurt. I think you need to go home and go to bed.”

My friends, karmic masalad is also known in Spanish as carne guisada. And lo, there was much chuckling in the car on the way home.

Friends

Yesterday, we spent some time with my friend Jess over at Sprachbund in Austin.  She has three little girls who are just beautiful.  Her middle daughter Rosie is the same age as Ben.  We met up at Amy’s Ice Cream (best doggone ice cream ever and that’s saying a lot because Texas is the home of Blue Bell is it’s pretty good, too. But I digress.) to have a treat and play in their cool playground.  Jess took these pictures and I had to share.  Adorable, no?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ben & Rosie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Molly (mi guerita bonita) and me!

Tomato, Tomahto

I sort of want to be a farmer. Not a big, millions of acres farmer, cranking out commodity crops like corn and soybeans. I want to be the kind of farmer that has a little bit of land, some delicious varietals, and booth at the local farmer’s market. You know, a yuppy farmer. *smile*

What I am is a housewife who bought a deal on one of those deal-o-day sites for a 4′ x 4′ raised bed and some transplants. When I got the deal, a wonderful man-o-the-earth type of fella installed it in our backyard. He planted two kinds of lettuces, some Swiss chard, broccoli, spinach, carrots, and radishes.  They’re doing quite well so far.

But when I envisioned a garden, what I really wanted were tomatoes. And lots of them! I love tomatoes. I love their sweetness, versatility, their cannability (ooh, canning! This is something I do not know how to do, but I imagine having loads of canned tomatoes and pickled okra in my pantry.)

Not really knowing the first thing about planting tomatoes and my assumption that they are persnickety, I asked one of the gals at my favorite produce stall in the market about how she plants hers. She said three words, “Five gallon bucket.”   Plant them in a big container, give them lots of sun, water them, don’t crowd them, let them do their thing, and she assured me that they will fruit delicious tomatoes.

So last weekend my sister, my son, and I headed to the organic nursery and then hardware store. We bought tomato plants (Amish Paste, which looks like a Roma, Brandywine, Cherokee Purple, and Black Cherry, two heirloom varieties), soil, and got a few tips on planting.

They should fruit in a few months but in the mean time, with the streak of warm weather we’ve been having, they’re quite happy in their paint bucket homes. That’s my little farmer in the background.

Back Row, l to r: Amish Paste, Brandywine
Front Row, l to r: Cherokee Purple, Black Cherry