I got on my laptop today feeling really proud of myself for posting so soon after my last post. Until I checked and saw that my last post was a week ago. Ooops.
Ignoring that.. Let's move on to more important matters. Like hummus. I find that hummus can be one of those side dishes that some really love and appreciate, or one that isn't given a second thought. I feel a little bit of both. I really do love my hummus, especially when we're having a bbq and I get to dip everything into tit - from chicken pieces to lamb chops to vegetable skewers. It compliments them all. But lets get real, we're in the middle on January, and bbq weather feels like its never going to come back, so hummus has been tucked away, somewhere at the back of my cluttered brain.
Until, I was invited to a friends dinner who asked me to make my grandmothers hummus. Now this hummus is no revolutionary hummus. There's no special technique or out of the ordinary ingredients. It's just the hummus my grandmother makes, who always decorates it with mint leaves, lines of paprika and dried parsley, whole chickpeas, black olives and a drizzle of olive oil, and I think that's why I love it so much. The way she presents it makes it special for me.
I never usually have a reason to make it - because my grandma's so good, and so quick, at making and decorating it that I never usually bother. But it was about time I grew up and made it myself, using soaked at home chickpeas, because my g-ma says they're better.
And so I set off to soak my chickpeas the night before my friends dinner. And then it snowed. And kept snowing. And that made the roads all icy. And then the dinner was cancelled.
But no-one cancels freshly made hummus.
(makes one batch*)
250 grams of cooked chickpeas (around the drained weight of a 400g can), set aside a spoonful to decorate, if you want
Juice of 1 lemon
1 large garlic clove, or 2 small ones, minced
2 tablespoons tahini
1/2 teaspoon salt
Optional: mint leaves, black olives, paprika, dried parley, olive oil and whatever you like to decorate.
If using canned chickpeas, set aside the water in the can. If using homemade chickpeas, reserve some of the cooking water.
In a food processor, blend the chickpeas, lemon juice, tahini and salt, until pureed. Scrape the bowl if needed and mix again to ensure all the chickpeas have been pureed. Taste, and adjust seasoning accordingly, adding more salt or lemon if needed. If the texture is too thick, add a tablespoon of reserved water at a time, and puree, until you reach your preferred consistency. I tend to need about 2 tablespoons.
Transfer the hummus to a bowl and rest in the refrigerator until needed. To decorate, use reserved chickpeas, paprika, dried parsley and mint leaves, with a drizzle of olive oil. Serve with pitta.
*The pictures above show two batches. I made an extra batch to keep in the fridge for sandwiches or as a healthy snack paired with carrots. Obviously, it was found by
the little monsters of the house my siblings, and eaten alongside the other batch.