Friday, March 22, 2013

Preserved Lemon Hummus

Now there's a snack for you:  Preserved Lemon Hummus and Fresh Veggies
I'm sending you all off for the weekend with a short post.  The days here are so gloriously sunny that it's hard to stay inside long enough to cook much, but the truth is that you don't need to spend hours in order to make something awesome.   So I whipped up some hummus yesterday afternoon, and then grabbed my skis and hit the trail.  Good stuff.

I've written about hummus before in this post about Homemade Tahini.

Hummus is one of the most satisfying snacks I've ever had - great with cut up fresh vegetables, excellent spread on a sandwich with a big stack of lettuce, tomato and alfalfa sprouts, and a great dip for rye crisps or pitas if you want to serve it as part of the appetizer table.  This stuff is good.  And easy.  And oh by the way - good for you!  High in protein, low in fat, and destined for vegetables - what more could you ask for?

I have made it many different ways, but this time I added a twist by using up some Preserved Lemons and some of their liquid.  You may remember I pointed you toward Eating from the Ground Up and her  recipe for Preserved Lemons - nothing's changed there - it's still the one I use, though I typically double the amount of cardamom in the recipe.  It's so good.

To use the preserved lemons for this recipe, take 2 lemon quarters and rinse them thoroughly to remove some of the salt.  Don't discard the lemon pulp this time, though - toss that into the hummus with the rest of the recipe.  I also made this batch of hummus light on garlic, using just two cloves.  I like garlic to sit in the background when I am eating hummus.  I don't want it overpowering the rest of the flavors and then have it continue to make itself known for hours afterward.  If you like a stronger garlic flavor, taste this, and then add a few cloves if necessary.

Preserved Lemon Hummus with Rye Crisps and Cucumber

I always soak and cook my own chickpeas for making hummus:  soak them overnight in a generous amount of water at room temperature, and then cook them for one hour in fresh water until they are tender.  Cool before beginning this recipe.   If you'd rather, you can use canned.  Just remember to reserve one cup of the liquid when you drain the chickpeas.

Lastly, add salt only at the very end.  The lemons you are using are preserved with salt, so you can adjust the salt needs at the end to suit your taste.

No Preserved Lemons?  If you don't have preserved lemons, you can still follow this recipe to make hummus.  You'll want to add an additional 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice and you'll need about 1 teaspoon of salt - but add the salt slowly and taste as you go to suit your personal preferences.

Preserved Lemon Hummus

3 cups cooked chickpeas, or the equivalent of canned chickpeas
1 cup of cooking water, reserved
1/4 cup Tahini
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
2 preserved lemon quarters, rinsed and roughly chopped
2 tablespoons of the liquid from the preserved lemons jar
Juice of 1/2 lemon, about 2 tablespoons
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

Place all ingredients except the cooking water into a food processor.  Process the mixture until completely smooth.  If the mixture starts to look stiff and won't mix well, add some of the cooking water.  Start with a half cup, and then add small amounts from there until you get the consistency you want.  I like the hummus to be fairly fluid while I am processing it as it makes it easier to dip and spread.

Stop the food processor.  Taste the hummus.  Add additional salt to taste, if needed.

You're done!  Enjoy.

Makes about 3 cups.

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