If 2009 was the Year of Indian Food (and I think it was–I definitely spent this past year learning oodles about Indian food, not that I am done yet), I predict 2010 will be the Year of Middle Eastern/Mediterranean Food. We just cannot get enough of it lately.
First I made those pita wraps. Then I made these dips when we had some people over on the weekend. Then, when we had leftover dip, I made Greek Turkey-Beef (based on lamb) burgers, and served them with the Roasted Red Pepper Feta dip.
My sister would laugh at me for even trying to type out a hummus recipe. She insistently lives by the rule that hummus and/or bean dip is completely flexible and you just throw whatever into it. Let me be clear, that rule totally works for her. She can throw a completely fabulous dip together at a moment’s notice with whatever is in the pantry–further, she could probably do it every day for a week or more and not repeat herself. However, that does not help those of us who do not know where to start!
My theory is somewhere in the middle. I’m going to give you the ingredients for both dips–with guesses as to amounts–and you, my faithful reader, will taste as you go should you choose to make them! After all, you might like less lemon juice than me or more garlic. And so forth and so on.
None of these dips were particularly photogenic. Oor maybe the right set-up did not occur to me. But I assure you they were quite tasty!
2 15 oz cans of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
5 T tahini paste
juice of 1 1/2 large lemons
1 1/2 t ground cumin
1 t sweet paprika
1/2 t sumac
3 mid-size cloves garlic, smashed and roughly chopped
extra virgin olive oil–drizzled to correct texture
Extra paprika and sumac for sprinkling on finished hummus, as well as extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
Starting with 4 tablespoons of tahini, the 2 cans of chickpeas, and half-amounts of all of the ingredients listed except the olive oil, puree everything together. Drizzle some olive oil in as it purees. Taste it and begin adding more of the other ingredients, until it tastes right to you. Add olive oil until it purees to a smooth, velvety texture. Have a pita chip (or pita bread) sitting handy for tasting as you go. Carrots are fabulous also. For serving, sprinkle with extra paprika and sumac, and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.
18 oz French feta (Sortun recommends a good, creamy feta, such as French), drained
roasted red peppered, to taste (Sortun uses fresh roasted but I think jarred work fine here)
extra virgin olive oil, drizzled in to desired consistency
2 t Aleppo pepper (can sub paprika, as I did)
1 t Urfa chile pepper (can sub ancho, as I did)
1/2 t smoked Spanish paprika
1 T lemon juice, to taste
Place all of the ingredients in a food processor. Puree until very creamy and whipped. Serve with pita chips or veggies as a dip, or shmear on a Greek lamb burger.