This whole week just snuck up on me. How is it September? How?? Why is time flying? I seem to have been inundated at work this week, making my new running schedule kind of tough, but I’m keeping it manageable. It’s part of my maximizing summer, though I hate that I noticeably have to finish the runs earlier so as not to end up running home in the dark. I keep reminding myself that we’re actually entering one of the most beautiful times of year when scorching heat gives way to lingering heat with a touch of crispness, where summer produce and fall produce collide in a mix of the almost unimaginable. And cider doughnuts!!!
And have you been watching the US Open? That’s my jam. We actually went yesterday and saw some quality matches. The first person we bumped into as we walked into the gates was my former coach. I mention her in my links in this pancake post here. Because she was escorting all the players to and from the practice courts to match courts she had access to all sorts of food and drinks and texted me to meet her outside the Grandstand Stadium so she could drop us off some goodies. Her specialty drinks definitely beat my water fountain filled water bottle. Highlight of my day. I’m so easily won over.
But let’s talk about hummus and mezze and all things portable and picnic-worthy. My favorite mezze is a tie between babaganoush and hummus. It’s so funny to me that I never posted a hummus recipe because this is quite possibly the first thing I ever learned how to make back in junior high school when we had to bring in a dish that represented our culture. Mine, being a mix of Eastern European and Middle Eastern, my mom and I opted for hummus as my representative dish. We went to the kitchen and she showed me how there were five ingredients and a little mixing to make it. The pita bread– which I didn’t have time to make this week- is just as easy. Luckily, I live right next to a Turkish restaurant and a Greek one so there is fresh pita galore on this block.
Hummus is quite possibly the perfect portable food. It can be thrown into wraps with veggies, served as a dip, spread over sandwiches and eaten by the spoonful on its own. This version is bright from the lemon juice, nutty from the tahini and layered from a dash of cumin and paprika. It brings a richness that adds so much flavor to anything you eat with it. I’ve been known to just take the spoon to the bowl and dig in. With my recent efforts to incorporate more vegetables, this has been a staple. I plan to take a little time off this weekend to rest and relax and this is coming with me.
I hit up the library this week and I took out Eat and Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness by Scott Jurek and Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging by Sebastian Junger. I think when you start to change your focus the world changes back and those around you change as well. I think a good support network for the things that move you is so important, but often times, especially when you make changes, you end up alone. And this is where the magic happens. You attract what you put out and if you can survive the test of alone, you’re golden.
Enjoy the long weekend!
EASY CLASSIC HUMMUS
- 1 1/2 cups chickpeas, soaked overnight then cooked or one 15 oz can
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (1 large lemon)
- 1/4 cup well-stirred tahini, see my homemade tahini recipe
- 1 small garlic clove, minced
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- Salt to taste
- 2 to 3 tablespoons (30 to 45 ml) water
- Dash ground paprika, for serving
Once you’ve cooked the chickpeas by boiling them for about 20 minutes in a medium pan, let cool. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the tahini and lemon juice and process for 1 minute, scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl then process for 30 seconds more..
Add the olive oil, minced garlic, cumin, and a 1/2 teaspoon of salt to the whipped tahini and lemon juice. Process for 30 seconds, scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl then process another 30 seconds or until well blended.
Add half of the chickpeas to the food processor, making sure they’re fully drained and rinsed of any liquid. Process for 1 minute. Scrape sides and bottom of the bowl, then add remaining chickpeas and process until thick and quite smooth; 1 to 2 minutes.
Most likely the hummus will be too thick or still have tiny bits of chickpea. To fix this, with the food processor turned on, slowly add 2 to 3 tablespoons of water until you reach the perfect consistency.
Taste for salt and adjust as needed. Serve hummus with a drizzle of olive oil and dash of paprika. Top with cilantro. Serve with pita bread or veggies. Store homemade hummus in an airtight container and refrigerate up to one week.