Warm Israeli hummus w/ greens
Lately, I have been obsessed with eating hummus warm, as is popular throughout the greater Middle East. I think I am shooting for a hearty baked hummus I ate in Turkey a few years ago in a stone terrine. We also just received Jerusalem, the new Yotam Ottolenghi cookbook, with a recipe for Israeli hummus masubha — topped with warm whole chickpeas. This hummus is my simpler weekday version of the Ottolenghi recipe. I skipped the steps of soaking overnight and serving with extra tahini. This dish is my absolute favorite lunch with pita, caramelized onions and sauteed greens; microwaved at work, heated properly on a weekend.
Serves 2 or 3
1.25 cup cooked chickpeas (rinse and drain, but save liquid)
reserved chickpea liquid, cooled with a few ice cubes (or ice water)
2 cloves garlic, peeled and cut in large pieces
juice of one half lemon
1t smoked paprika
salt + pepper
good quality olive oil
1 small bunch sturdy greens (kale, broccoli rabe, spinach or radish tops)
1 large yellow onion, peeled and thinly sliced
white wine vinegar
If cooking chickpeas from scratch, rinse dry chickpeas and cover with twice their volume of cold water in a stock pot. Bring to rolling boil for two minutes, then turn off stove. Cover pot and let sit for an hour. Now cook beans on medium flame for about 30 minutes uncovered.
As chick peas gain a little soft bite, add several twists of a salt grinder and several dashes of white wine vinegar. Cook about 15 more minutes, until chick peas are tender but not mushy. Turn off flame and set aside chick peas. You may want to drain and set cooking liquid to chill — it adds flavor (instead of ice water) when blending hummus.
Finely mince garlic in mini chopper. Add 1 cup of chick peas and tahini. Pulse chopper several times and mix in about 3 or 4 tablespoons of iced chickpea liquid. You want to blend ingredients into a smooth paste and to make sure tahini does not clump.
Now add lemon juice, salt, pepper and paprika and pulse a few more times. Drizzle olive oil over hummus and adjust seasonings to preference – you may add liquid. Scrape hummus into a small sauce pan and set aside.
Prepare caramelized onions and greens. Heat iron skillet on medium flame, without oil. Add onions, spread evenly and cover. Let cook for about 5 minutes, stirring only once or twice. Now raise flame to medium, and add oil, salt and pepper. Cook another 5 minutes uncovered, stirring once or twice.
Set greens in pan and top with several dashes of vinegar. Cover, and let cook up to 5 minutes for sturdy greens such as kale or only 2 or 3 minutes for flimsier greens such as radish tops. Greens are done when soft and bright green. Turn off flame and leave greens covered in pan.
Warm hummus on low flame in sauce pan. You may add a little more chick pea liquid so hummus does not stick. Add reserved whole chick peas until just warm and move hummus to a small bowl. Top to taste with extra olive oil and paprika.
Warm pita in toaster oven. Plate greens and serve with warm pita and bowl of hummus.