In the colorful shops of the Carmel market in Tel Aviv, mountains of hummus are displayed between layers of whole cooked chickpeas, sprinkled with paprika and parsley. In restaurants, whole chickpeas are often served in the center of a plate of hummus. This gave me the idea to combine two different chickpea dishes: the extremely tasty ceci all’aglio (chickpeas with garlic), a traditional dish from Calabria — the southwestern tip of the Italian mainland — and hummus bi tahini, the ubiquitous dip or spread of Middle Eastern cuisine. Note that you need to prepare this a day before you plan to serve it if you start with dried chickpeas, but if you have frozen cooked chickpeas the spread can be whipped up in a few minutes. Serve accompanied with fresh or toasted pita bread and with tender raw vegetables.
Mediterranean Hot & Spicy by Aglaia Kremezi; copyright © Broadway Books
Mediterranean Hot & Spicy by Aglaia Kremezi; copyright broadway books
|cup olive oil, plus more fruity extra virgin olive oil to drizzle over the hummus if you like||1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons sweet Hungarian paprika|
|5 garlic cloves, 2 minced||cup tahini (sesame paste)|
|2 to 5 teaspoons Aleppo or Mara's pepper, or a pinch of hot red pepper flakes, to taste||3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, or more to taste|
|3 1/2 cups cooked and drained chickpeas||to 1 teaspoons freshly ground cumin|
|Sea salt||3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or flat leaf parsley (optional)|
Warm the olive oil and the minced garlic with the Aleppo pepper in a deep skillet over medium-high heat until the garlic starts to color, about 1 minute.
Add 1 ½ cups of the cooked chickpeas and some salt.
Sauté, stirring often, until all liquid has evaporated.
Taste, adjust the seasoning, and set aside or refrigerate, covered, for 3 to 5 days.
In a food processor or blender, process the rest of the chickpeas to obtain a smooth paste.
Add the rest of the garlic, peeled, a little paprika, the tahini, lemon juice, salt, and cumin.
Process to mix thoroughly and taste to adjust the seasoning.
You can store the hummus, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. When you are about to serve, transfer the hummus to a shallow bowl and make a well in the center.
Add the chickpeas, sprinkle with paprika, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, and, if you like, sprinkle with cilantro or parsley. Let come to room temperature before serving.
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