Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Creamy Hummus with Baked Pita Chips

If you were to drop by my apartment on any given summer weeknight, you'd catch me in the act of not cooking a fresh and mostly seasonal dinner. Now, I'm not saying I don't make the evening meals myself most nights. But I do know that when it's too hot to cook I'm not about to fire up the stove and get down with making a five-course meal.

So to keep myself cool, I focus on light meals and snacks that require very little to no stovetop or oven time. I'm just getting started on my 2014 list of easy summer dishes, starting with snacks:

Creamy Hummus with Baked Pita Chips

Note: If you have the time, using dry chickpeas is always the best choice—you'll get the best flavor and best nutrition. But this requires soaking the beans overnight, and then boiling them. To many, this can be intimidating. So for those who rarely have time and don't want to slave over a hot stove, this recipe uses canned chickpeas. Once you start making your own hummus this way, graduating to dry chickpeas will come naturally.

For the hummus:
1 1/4 cups chickpeas from a 15 1/2 oz can, water reserved, the rest of the chickpeas reserved for garnish
1/2 cup tahini
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 clove of garlic, crushed
3 tablespoons ice cold water
Kosher salt
Extra virgin olive oil
Handful of parsley
Ground cumin
Ground paprika

For the pita chips:
1 package pita bread or flatbread
Extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and set aside a baking sheet for the pita chips.

Place the chickpeas in a food processor and process until you get a stiff paste. Then, with the machine sill running, add the tahini paste, lemon juice, garlic, and 3/4 teaspoons salt. Slowly drizzle in the ice water and allow it to mix for a few minutes, until you get a very smooth and creamy paste. Add reserved chickpea water, a tablespoon at a time, if mixture is still too thick.

Transfer the hummus to a shallow soup bowl. Cover with plastic wrap until ready to use. To serve, top with a layer of extra virgin olive oil and roughly chopped parsley, and sprinkle with a pinch each of cumin and paprika.

Cut each pita or flatbread in quarters and each quarter in half to make 8 triangles. Place them in a single layer on a sheet pan and sprinkle lightly with olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake for 10 minutes, until crisp, turning once. Serve alongside hummus for dipping.

Photography and styling by Alyssa. Photo ©Alyssa Yeager

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