Make it Naked


Cilantro Lime Hummus

Jon and I both come from successful gardening families.

My father’s garden is a spot worth visiting. Last year he gave us a 9lb zucchini. That’s not a typo. My aunt and uncle tend an impressive and large garden in Chesapeake, Virginia. They grow beautiful melons and almost every vegetable imaginable, including asparagus. That’s serious business. My sister and brother-in-law had such an abundant chili pepper crop last year that their back yard resembled a Mexican pepper farm. We now have a jar full of freshly crushed red pepper…straight from Annapolis, Maryland. My in-laws had such success with their garden, they purchased a second freezer. We’re still enjoying multiple jars of fresh, local, family grown tomatoes from them.

But us? Over the course of three years, we’ve successfully cultivated one string bean. We’ve tried different vegetables and many herbs but nothing. So instead of living off the fruits of our own labor, we joined a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) and live off the fruits of someone else’s labor. And I’m ok with that because…well, one string bean.

Our CSA is through a small local organic farm. We pay Farmer Leigh in the winter and in return, he brings us fruits, vegetables and fresh eggs all summer and into the fall. Our house is the pick-up point for CSA members in our area. That means Farmer Leigh drops off his weekly harvest and our Friday nights are spent monitoring vegetable pick up. What? How do you spend your Friday nights? We sit outside for three hours and wait for everyone to pick up their veggies. Really, things get wild. Cars fill the street. People line up at our garage. Neighbors call the cops. No officer, we’re not selling anything illegal, just distributing eggplant.

 

One of the many perks of being the drop off house is that we get to keep any extra. There is always extra, leaving us with more herbs than two people could possibly use in a week. Wait, no officer, not those kinds of herbs. I mean basil, thyme and cilantro.

With so many herbs, we’re forced to get creative, and this hummus was the result of cilantro on the verge of going bad being put to good use. Very very good, creamy, delicious use. Oh, and those pita chips? You can make those too. They’re a necessary means to transport the hummus to your mouth. I highly recommend making the duo.

 

I normally use whole chickpeas (garbanzo beans), but after Nick shared the secret to super creamy at-home hummus, I had to try it with garbanzo bean flour. It really does produce a much more creamy consistency than using whole beans. This hummus is very healthy and simple and very adaptable to your liking. Once you’ve made the base, you can use a variety of herbs or vegetables to add flavor. If you don’t like cilantro, use basil and replace the lime with lemon. Maybe roasted red peppers or roasted eggplant. Whatever you have that you need to use up. Whatever your garden has fruitfully produced. Stay tuned…lonely string bean hummus up next.

Cilantro Lime Hummus with Whole Wheat Pita Chips

For the Hummus (inspired by Macheesmo):

Ingredients:
3/4 cup garbanzo bean flour
2 ½ cups water
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup sesame paste (tahini)
1 ½ heaping cups cilantro, picked through to remove stems
1 teaspoon chopped, seeded, fresh jalapeno (optional)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Juice of 2 limes
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Directions:

  1. In a sauce pan, bring the 2 ½ cups of water to a boil. Whisk in the garbanzo bean flour. Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Lower heat to medium low and cook 5 more minutes. Let cool.
  2. In the bowl of a food processor, add the garbanzo flour mixture, garlic and tahini. Process until smooth. Add the cilantro, jalapeno, salt and lime juice. Process again until smooth, scraping down the sides. The longer you let it process the smoother the hummus will get.
  3. With the processor running, through the feed tube, slowly add the olive oil. Let process until combined. If the mixture is too thick and not as creamy as you’d like, add a little more water to attain desired consistency.
  4. Scrape the hummus into a bowl and let it sit, covered, in the refrigerator for at least an hour. Taste and add more salt or lime juice if desired.

For the Pita Chips:

Ingredients:
1 package whole wheat pita bread
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (I used Garlic Gold– garlic infused olive oil)
hot chili powder, to taste (regular chili powder is fine)
cumin, to taste
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Using a serrated knife, or your fingers, split each pita around the circumference, leaving you with two discs per pita.
  3. Brush each pita disc (on both sides) with olive oil.
  4. Stack the discs and cut into sixths or eighths. Spread the uncooked chips onto a cookie sheet.
  5. Season with a generous amount of hot chili powder, cumin, kosher salt and pepper.
  6. Bake for about 10 minutes. They will start to brown and crisp. Stir the chips around, flipping the majority to allow the opposite side to brown. Bake about 5 more minutes. Watch closely so as not to burn.

 

Notes:

  1. I used Bob’s Red Mill Garbanzo Bean Flour. I found it in the gluten-free section of our grocery store. You can use two cans of drained chickpeas if you can’t find the flour. Just begin making the recipe at step 2 above.
  2. Any combination of spices work well on the chips. Oregano and basil. Garlic powder and cumin. Just use what you have.
  3. If you want a thinner hummus you can add up to 1/4 cup of water when processing all together. 1/4 cup makes it drippy. Please note that it will thicken a bit as it chills.
  4. I really encourage joining a CSA if it’s available to you. If you have further questions about how it works, leave a comment. Although all CSAs work a little differently, I’ll try my best to answer it. It’s a great way to support local farms, get great produce and if you’re lucky, a few extra treats….remember all this honey? That’s courtesy of Farmer Leigh’s bees and we’re still enjoying it.

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Posted on April 23, 2011


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