Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Hummus and "pita" bread
When things start getting warmer outside, I start making more hummus. I don't know why I crave it more in warmer weather, but I do. I love to eat it as a snack (or a meal!) with just pita bread. I love it with veggies. I love making sandwiches with it. Pita bread, hummus, a slice of provolone. A very good sandwich. Add some fresh spinach and a tomato. Oh my.
Perhaps I enjoy eating it more because it's a cooler food. Although it tastes great with warm pita bread, it tastes wonderful with foods at cool temperatures. Perhaps it's because hummus is a food you can sit down and enjoy for a while while you're watching the spring unfold around you. Like watching Western Tanagers catch insects right outside your window ...
I don't know why I like it so much, I just know that I do. I used to love eating hummus and pita bread at Serop's Cafe in Baton Rouge. I don't live in Baton Rouge anymore, but it was a favorite place to eat when I visited. I haven't tried it since I've been gluten-free, so if any of you have had good gluten-free experiences there, please let me know! Serop's makes the best hummus, in my opinion. I've tried to recreate it, and haven't quite gotten it. But this recipe I've come up with is good.
And pita bread? My oh my, I love good pita bread. It's not easy to find gluten-free, is it? Shortly after going gluten-free, I contacted Udi's and asked if they'd consider making some pita bread. I got a response that if I'd bake the pizza crust a few minutes, it worked pretty well for pita bread. They were right. It's not pita pocket bread, but it's a good replacement pita bread for the time being. Instructions below.
You'll notice I don't use tahini as a main ingredient in this recipe. You can certainly add it if you desire, and I'll add the optional amount below. I started making this without tahini because my oldest daughter was allergic to sesame for a while - at least that's what we believe. She broke out in hives a few times after eating hummus and we narrowed it down to the tahini, especially since there are some sesame allergies in the family. A few years later, she tested negative for a sesame allergy so we cautiously gave her a little. No reaction. She eats sesame now with no problems, including occasional tahini. We keep an eye on it, though. Because I have some friends who also have sesame allergies, I'm used to making it without the tahini. Every once in a while I'll add it, though. It's just as good either way!
Projected prep time: 5 minutes
1 15 oz. can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained with liquid saved
Fresh-squeezed lemon juice, to taste
1 large clove of garlic, pressed
3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste
Few dashes of cumin, to taste
(Optional: A few tbsp. of tahini)
You'll need some of the chickpea liquid, start with a couple of spoonfuls
Place all ingredients into food processor.
Blend until getting smooth. Adjust with more chickpea liquid and seasonings/lemon juice as necessary.
Blend again until smooth.
That's it. So simple. Refrigerate until ready to eat, unless you're eating it immediately.
Now for the "pita" bread ...
Bake time: 5 minutes
Udi's pizza crust
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place whole crust on baking sheet.
Bake for 5 minutes (top rack if gas oven). Remove and cut into wedges.
Handy tip: If you love pita chips, this stuff makes great ones. Cut into smaller pieces and bake longer. Yum!