This month’s theme was Middle Easter cuisine. Where I live in AK, there is almost no access to Middle Eastern food. Occasionally, I’ll find hummus or baba ganoush in the grocery store, but experience has taught me that the ridiculous price buys you only disappointment and regret, so I usually hold back from buying them.
It wasn’t until I stumbled across this event that I found use for the 5 pounds of sesame seeds I brought back with me last January. One really doesn’t realize how much 5 pounds of sesame seeds is until they wonder how to get rid of it! The only reason I haven’t made my own hummus since moving here was because I could never find tahini. Well, what is tahini made of? Sesame seeds, of course!
So to participate in AWED this month, I decided to make tahini, and whip up some hummus. I must say, I have never really cooked the “vegetarian way” before, but none of the ingredients were produced from meat, or are by products of animals, so it is certainly vegetarian friendly.
To make the tahini and hummus I used recipes I learned from a friends mother, who is a great Lebanese cook. These quantities are merely guidelines, as she tended to look for consistency and texture more than meeting exact quantities:
3 cups of sesame seeds, roasted lightly
Light olive oil (not extra virgin) or other light oil of choice
In a food processor, grind sesame seeds, drizzle in enough oil so that the tahini is able to pour thickly. The quantity of oil will be dependent on how dry the sesame seeds are. PLEASE NOTE: My friends mom used A LOT of tahini; feel free to cut back on the amount of sesame seeds if you only need a little tahini.
3 cups of cooked (or canned) garbanzo beans, juice reserved for thinning
3 tbsp of tahini
Juice of half a lemon
2 tbsp raw diced or 3 tbsp roasted garlic
Salt & Pepper to taste
Put all ingredients but juice and S&P into the food processor bowl, process adding enough juice to bring the hummus to the desired consistency. I prefer mine a little thick, but still loose enough to pour.
I usually prefer to eat hummus topped with fresh tomatoes, garnished with a little paprika, some extra virgin olive oil and chopped tarragon.
It tasted absolutely wonderful, and was a refreshing dinner for my husband and myself. It had been over a year since I had hummus of any sort, so embarking to the Middle East