Sunday, October 05, 2014

The Hummus Among Us

I totally agree with contributor Jim Dixon of Real Good Food: store-bought hummus is ridiculously expensive and producers don't always use the best ingredients, while making it at home is so easy, costs so little and is way more flavorful. This version adds roasted peppers to give it an extra flavor boost…try some sweet red peppers from the farmers' market like Jimmy Nardellos, Italian peppers or Cubanelles.

I used to sell garbanzos grown by Haricot Farms, the same folks who grow the rojo chiquito red beans. But they haven't been available for the past few years (I suspect they all go to the Truitt Bros. for canning). So when I learned that Koda Farms, producers of Kokuho Rose rice (Mark Bittman called it the "best rice grown in America."), also grows garbanzos, I ordered a bag. They're small, organically grown and delicious.

Hummus with Roasted Chiles

If you have a food processor, there's no reason to buy hummus at the store. It never has enough tahini, anyway, and it's almost always made with fake extra virgin olive oil (the blends of refined and virgin olive oils often labeled "extra virgin"). This version includes some roasted chiles, but you can leave them out for traditional hummus.

In your processor combine 2 cups of cooked garbanzos, 1/2 cup of roasted chiles (available now in varying levels of heat at the farmers market; substitute roasted red bell peppers [recipe] or roast your own chiles), 1/2 cup of tahini, 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, 2 coarsely chopped garlic cloves, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 1 teaspoon salt, and the juice of a lemon (or 2 tablespoons Katz Sparkling Wine vinegar). Process until smooth, adding a little of the garbanzo cooking water if you like a thinner spread. Drizzle with more extra virgin, dust with paprika (I like the smoky note from Spanish pimenton) and eat with bread or anything else that will scoop it up.

You can find Jim and the products he loves on most Mondays at his Real Good Food "warehouse," from 4-7 pm at Activspace, 833 SE Main St. #122. Look for the "olive oil" sign out front.

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