Hello, friends! I wanted to pop by ever so briefly during this sweet quiet between Christmas and the rolling over of the calendar to the new year. Another year beginning! Fresh and clean and as yet untouched, barreling in from where, I don’t know. But I am welcoming this one with open arms.
Surely I don’t need to tell you again how much I love the holiday season, what with all of the cheering and waxing poetic I’ve been doing lately. Yet I will say that this year in particular, I think I really needed the coziness and calm and hope, the festivity and celebration. These things have tempered the spinning narratives in my mind and the emotion I’ve felt about what has been a very unpredictable couple of months.
Toward this end, I have been enjoying the blend of calm and chaos. This, right now, is the time of days spent doing not much more than being together while the streets sit quiet and nearly empty outside, all of it contrasted with the bustle of shopping and outings and wrapping up of work projects that came before and the parties and gatherings that continue.
If you ask me, it’s the best of everything.
And that considered, I wanted to bring you a quick party trick, what with the New Year’s shindigs now fast approaching. Hummus, my friends. It is a winner! If you are accustomed to making your own hummus, you likely think little of it, but every time I share a batch, those partaking remind me that not everyone knows how easy it is to whirl up this delicious and healthful dip/spread/etc. at home. And if you’re among those who’ve not yet ventured into this territory, I urge you forward. I think you’ll be surprised at the simplicity, and the goodness.
Furthermore, this specific hummus is shockingly, wonderfully smooth. And that’s in addition to being easy, tasty, healthful and versatile. What more could you ask for? A cookie, maybe, or a glass of wine, but in consideration of the parties, I imagine provision of sweets and drinks will be more than taken care of, so: you should bring hummus.
And with that, happy new year! See you on the other side.
Melissa Clark’s Stupendous Hummus
From Melissa Clark’s Cook This Now
Melissa offers an ingenious tip, which she learned from Peter Berley, about combining the salt and spices with the lemon juice before adding them to the other ingredients. The lemon juice dissolves the salt, intensifies the spices and allows the flavors to distribute evenly. If this is a new method for you, as it was for me, I think you’ll notice a difference.
freshly squeezed juice of 1 lemon, plus more for serving
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 large garlic clove, minced
pinch cayenne, plus more for serving
1/3 cup tahini
1/2 cup water
3 cups cooked chickpeas
1/2 cup olive oil, plus more for serving
In a food processor, combine the lemon juice, salt, cumin, black pepper, garlic and cayenne. Pulse the mixture a few times, until the ingredients have blended together. Add the tahini and water; pulse until smooth.
Add the chickpeas and puree until smooth and creamy (this may take a few minutes). With the motor of the food processor running, pour in the olive oil until the mixture is combined. Taste and adjust the flavors if necessary.
Spread the hummus on a plate. Top with a drizzle of olive oil, a squeeze of lemon juice, a dash of cayenne and a sprinkling of salt and pepper.
Yield: about 3 1/2 cups