Tuesday, May 29, 2012

You Call That A Salad?

Why, yes. Yes I do call that a salad. I know there's no bowl or lettuce, but let's not quibble. There's lots of good salad stuff in this meal, and having a 'salad' in addition to this would be redundant. If people can call Jello salad with marshmallows a salad, then this more than qualifies.

The dip is my favorite hummus. I have been very surprised to learn that most people buy ready-made hummus, which is expensive and usually not as good as the homemade variety. It's quick and easy to make it at home and you can vary it in so many ways to suit yourself. The version below, which is lighter and fluffier than store bought hummus, is just a starting point.

Did I dip the tomatoes? Nope (though if I'd had cherry tomatoes...). I had a slice of excellent whole grain bread, which I topped with hummus and tomatoes. But instead of eating more bread, I used the other ingredients as dippers.

Easy Homemade Hummus

1 can (15 oz) garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 - 2 Tbs tahini (sesame seed paste) and/or olive oil
2 Tbs lemon juice
1 - 2 cloves chopped garlic
1/4 - 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 - 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 cup water (approximately)

Combine all ingredients but water in a food processor. Process to mix, then gradually add water until you reach the desired consistency.

A few of many variations -- pulse in raw or cooked greens, from kale or spinach to parsley or cilantro; blend in roasted red pepper; pulse in chopped red or green onions, or blend in caramelized onions; vary the amount and proportion of tahini and olive oil -- you can even omit these altogether if you wish; use flavored olive oil (I love garlic olive oil); change the spices.

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