The second daughter requested recipe – Hummus! Garbanzo beans, otherwise known as chickpeas or in Italy, cece beans, tahini (sesame paste), lemon juice, garlic and oil are the basic ingredients. Canned garbanzo beans work well or if you are so inclined, dried beans, which will need to be soaked overnight and cooked for an hour the next day. It’s really a personal preference and a time issue, but I do like to prepare the dried beans. (recipe below for cooking dried beans).
The cooked beans can be bagged in one cup amounts and frozen. I usually add a bit of water into the bag to avoid drying out the beans or freezer burn; however I end up using them within a few weeks. At this point it’s as easy as opening a can! (tho you do need to thaw the beans the day before in the frig).
Each time I make hummus, which is weekly in my house, it’s different. The additional ingredients depend on what I have available. If the hummus is to be served with a particular meal or theme, then I adjust the additions accordingly.
15 oz canned Garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained or 15 oz cooked beans
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons tahini paste
1/4 cup water (or chicken stock)
Juice from 1 lemon, about 2-3 tablespoons
2 tablespoons olive oil – or if oil free, just use the liquid from the cooked beans
Salt & pepper to taste (about 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper)
Combine all ingredients in food processor and process until desired creaminess. For creamier hummus, add more water (or stock) and olive oil. Store refrigerated for one week.
Cooking dried Garbanzo Beans: For a 14 oz bag of dried chickpeas, rinse the beans first and fill a pot with water. Allow the beans to sit overnight in the water or at least 4-6 hours. After the soaking, boil the beans for 1 hour. If you notice the water level goes down, add more water. Rinse in cold water and bag up in 1 cup portions. Thaw the bags slowly in the refrigerator so the maintain their texture. What works best for me is overnight soaking. When I wake up I turn on the stove, boil for 1 hour while I shower and dress for work, rinse out in cold water and put in container in the frig to cool completely. After work I bag them up and freeze!
I love being in the kitchen. Early mornings, soft music, a hot espresso. Easing into the preparation of delicious meals. Glancing through cookbooks, gathering inspiration and planning my day. I look forward to the cycles of the seasons, the pleasures of tasting and savoring and sharing this with those dear to me. Weekends are special to me as my week days are often rushed, but still I create the ambiance, light the candles, set the table and uncork the wine.