Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Lemon Hummus

Hand Holding Carrot with Lemon Hummus
Carrot: Perfect Vehicle for Lemon Hummus

Recipe Adapted by Bruce from “Cooking By Moonlight”

My husband Bruce loves hummus. I shy away from it because, at least in Santa Cruz county, it is often packed full of raw garlic that overpowers the other tastes and sometimes upsets my stomach. I knew that Bruce was looking for a good hummus recipe, and the one in Karri Ann Allrich’s excellent Cooking By Moonlight intrigued me because I love lemon. Bruce was interested because the recipe doesn’t call for tahini. It seems that when we’ve bought tahini for the small amount needed in hummus, the rest goes to waste. 

Bruce set about perfecting the recipe to our tastes, mellowing out the garlic by roasting it, cutting the amount of oil in half, and toasting and grinding cumin seeds himself for freshest flavor. He kept the amount of yogurt the same, so this is not a vegan recipe.

Roll-up Sandwich on Plate
Roll-up with Mini Romaine, Basil & Tomatoes
Karri Ann Allrich suggests serving lemon hummus in a bowl surrounded by carrot and celery sticks, broccoli florets and sliced pita bread. She also recommends using it as a sandwich filling for pita breads, roll-ups, or rustic breads. She suggests adding sprouts, grated carrots, sliced red onion, and cucumber for waning moon sandwiches (remember, this is Cooking By Moonlight, with recipes for every moon of the year!). For “perfect love food,” Karri Ann says to add tomato wedges, some rinsed capers, extra garlic, and fresh chopped mint.

We found lemon hummus is good on young romaine leaves with chopped tomato, and Bruce likes it in roll-ups with chopped cucumber, halved cherry tomatoes, and sliced yellow and red mini-bell peppers. And yes, even I enjoy this hummus!

Getting Creative with Lemon Hummus
Lemon Hummus
serves 4

½ tsp. cumin seeds
1 tsp. olive oil, approximately
3 cloves garlic
1 can (15 oz.) organic garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
1 large Meyer lemon
2 tbsp. organic nonfat yogurt
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. water
¼ tsp. or less sea salt (optional)
1 pinch or less cayenne pepper (optional)

Cut garlic cloves in half. Juice the lemon and strain the juice. Drain and rinse garbanzo beans.

Heat small frying pan and toast cumin seed over medium low until they darken in color, stirring constantly, about 2 minutes. Pour into mortar. When cool, grind toasted cumin fine with mortar and pestle.

Film same frying pan with oil (approx. 1 tsp.) over low to medium-low heat and toast garlic till just starting to brown, about 2 minutes.

Add garlic and cumin to food processor, and process till garlic is about the size of bell pepper seeds (about 6 seconds). Add garbanzos, lemon juice, yogurt, 1 tbsp. olive oil and water. Process for about 10 seconds. Take off processor lid, scrape down if needed, and check to see if you like the texture. Process again if needed.

Scrape into serving bowl and season to taste with sea salt and/or cayenne pepper if desired.

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