Brown Bag Lunch #1: Hummous Mint Sandwich
I'm now in my second full week of work and I bring my lunch in whenever I can. It seems a bit anti-social to brown-bag it every day since there's only one other person in the office willing to do it. (I'm working on 'em though). So I go out with the co-workers about half the time. Tomorrow I'm bringing a home-made hummous and mint sandwich on my own sourdough bread.
1 cup dried chick peas*
1 medium-sized garlic clove, peeled
1/4 cupo well stirred tahini (sesame seed paste)
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
about 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
juice of 1/2 lemon
salt to taste
sprinkle of ground sumac
1 tbsp chopped fresh mint
*Or any other bean, really since the other ingredients are strongly flavored, I thing you'll hardly notice the difference between chick pea hummous, pinto bean hummous and navy bean hummous. The honest truth is this hummous is made with Italian "borlotti" beans, a.k.a cranberry beans. That and the mixed-in sumac make the hummous redder than it otherwise would be.
The evening before you make your hummous, soak the cup of chick peas in a bowl of water. Make sure the level of the water is 3 times as high as the chick peas to allow for their expansion. (If you're reading this and you want hummous NOW, just get 2 15 oz cans of chick peas, drain them and follow this recipe from there. If you don't tell anybody, I won't either.) Music to soak chick peas by: "Where is the Love" by The Black Eyed Peas. I just love that song.
Boil the chick peas in abundant water for about 2 hours or until they are very tender. Cool and drain. In a food processor, place the garlic and whizz just to make sure it's in small pieces. I have forgotten this step in the past, dumping all the ingredients in together, and ended up with huge chunks of raw garlic in my hummous. Don't let this happen to you! Add the chick peas, tahini, cumin & cayenne and blend until smooth. If the mixture is too thick, start adding the lemon juice. Open the feeder at the top of the food processor and begin adding the olive oil in a stream. Add about 1/2 tsp salt and taste to see if you need more.
Spread in a shallow bowl, sprinkle the brick-red sumac and green mint on top and enjoy with bread.
Hummous sandwich serving ideas: Depending on the season, tomato or lettuce are great with this, also the traditional Middle Eastern pickled turnips (way better than they sound, and they're pink!) will give this sandwich a wonderfully tart kick.