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Sun-dried tomato hummus

Posted Mar 12 2012 8:51am
I first tried hummus in college. It was in a veggie wrap and it was delicious. Being from a small town in North Carolina, the dip we mostly consumed was pimento cheese. I fell in love with hummus and have eaten it in many flavors and in many ways since then. These days I usually make it at home, adding whatever spices and herbs I have on hand. One of my favorite combinations is jalapeño and cilantro.

Normally hummus is served chilled at restaurants and purchased in the refrigerated section at the grocery store. But this week's Food Matters Project recipe serves it hot . When I make hummus, I tend to eat a few warm scoops while I'm tasting it from the food processor. I find it comforting warm and the texture is similar to mashed potatoes. Bittman recommends adding it to pasta and grains or eating it as an alternative to mashed potatoes.
I recommend buying dried beans, and soaking and cooking them yourself. This allows you to control the amount of sodium that goes into your beans, plus dried beans are cheaper. Put your beans in a bowl and cover completely with water. The beans will rehydrate and grow larger, so make sure to cover with at least an extra inch or more of water. You can soak the beans before you leave for work, and cook when you get home in the evening. Adding kombu (seaweed) to the pot of chickpeas as they're cooking helps reduce gas by making the beans easier to digest. It also flavors and adds trace minerals to the beans as well. I add kombu to all my beans. Adding the spices—cumin, epazote, fennel, ginger, asafetida, or winter savory—also aid digestion.

Beans or legumes are slow to digest which means they're excellent for those who have low blood sugar or diabetes, because they only have a small rise in blood sugar. They reduce cholesterol, lower blood pressure, regulate the colon, and prevent constipation. Beans are a great source of protein, calcium, potassium, iron, zinc, and B vitamins. The color of the bean is thought to depict the organ that it supports. Chickpeas are yellow, so they are thought to support the spleen. (1)
I decided to add sun-dried tomatoes and smoked paprika to my hummus as I've been on somewhat of a kick the past month, adding their distinctive smokey flavor to dishes. Feel free to add whatever flavor profile you'd like.

Sun dried tomato hummus served hot
adapted from The Food Matters Cookbook
3 c garbanzo beans, cooked
1/2-3/4 cup reserved cooking liquid or water
4 sun-dried tomatoes
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
zest of 1 lemon
1/4 c tahini
3 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cracked pepper
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp coriander seeds
juice of one lemon
parsley + jalapeño to garnish

Add the warm chickpeas, 1/2 c cooking liquid, sun dried tomatoes, garlic, paprika, lemon zest, and tahini to the food processor (use a mortar & pestle, if you don't have a food processor). Blend until smooth. While the food processor is running, add the olive oil, salt, and pepper. If the hummus looks a little dry, add more cooking liquid. Remove from the food processor and refrigerate until ready to eat.

Heat the cumin and coriander seeds over medium heat. Cook until fragrant, 3-4 minutes. Grind the spices finely with a mortar and pestle. Add the hummus to the sauté pan over low-to-medium heat. Add the lemon juice, mix well. I added a little extra cooking liquid here to make it creamier (it thickened up after being in the fridge for a couple of hours). Stir often, making sure the hummus doesn't burn or stick to the bottom of the pan.

Garnish with parsley, jalapeño, cumin, and coriander. Serve warm with an assortment of vegetables, crackers, or pita.

(1) Wood, Rebecca. The New Whole Foods Encyclopedia. pg. 36-41.
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