My dad, who was in the fabric business, always had to be thinking six months ahead. In June, for example, he asked himself what sort of material women would want to buy to sew a dress or skirt the following December.
It’s the same in my business, food writing. I’m already testing recipes for Thanksgiving and Hanukkah, even though the sun is brilliant, the leaves are still green and it’s 90 degrees outside.
All this means that I decided on my Break-the-fast menu several weeks ago, even though Yom Yippur doesn’t end until sunset October 4, 2014.
I always serve a new hummus version for this occasion. Hummus is usually the first bite that people eat when they come to my house. And because I work ahead, I’ve already completed all my hummus experiments for the year.
The recipe below, made with dried chick peas, is the winner for this year’s get-together. Dried chick peas give hummus a rounder, richer, nuttier flavor than the kind made with canned beans. The hummus tends to be drier too, so I keep some of the cooking liquid available to stir in at the last minute, just in case.
Don’t be surprised by the addition of a tiny amount of baking soda. It helps soften the chick peas and make the hummus smooth and creamy.
And by the way, you don’t have to wait until October to make this. Hummus is a treat any old time as a snack, sandwich spread, party dip.
Hummus with Dried Chick Peas and Tahini
1 cup dried chick peas
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup tahini
6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper or to taste
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cooking liquid from chick peas, approximately
cut up pita wedges
Place the chick peas in a bowl, cover them with water and let soak overnight or about 10 hours. Or, place the chick peas in a pot, cover with water, bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer the peas for 4 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, cover the pot and let the chick peas soak for 1 hour. Drain the chick peas. Place them in a pot, cover with water (by about one inch), stir in the baking soda, bring the water to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for about one hour or until the chick peas are tender. Drain the chick peas but reserve some of the water. Place the chick peas, tahini, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, cumin, cayenne and salt in a food processor. Add about 1/4 cup reserved bean liquid and process until well blended. Add more bean liquid depending on desired consistency. Place the hummus in a serving dish and sprinkle with zatar. Serve with cut up pita wedges.
Makes about 1-1/2 cups