Friday, April 20, 2007

Yeah, been at it again

This ballooned into something much bigger than we had planned--but when you put three overworked accountants into a room together, this is the kind of madness that ensues. As soon as someone mentioned that they had been itching to learn how to make hummus, it was settled--time for a hummus party.

We made four different varieties (recipes at the end of the post):

We served the hummus with cucumbers, broccoli florets, sliced mushrooms, and toasted pita wedges. But that's not all, no, that's not all...

Roasted asparagus:

And, for dessert, strawberries in balsamic vinegar (as I saw on Scottish Vegan's blog a while back and have been thinking about ever since):

How I wished we had some fresh mint or basil leaves as a garnish... but all we had was cilantro. With strawberries? Not so much.

The whole, elaborate, elegant spread:

It was a night of delicious vegan food, of creativity and experimentation, and of good fun with good friends. Just the way I like it!

By the way, the all the different varieties of hummus were very good and very distinct. The southwest-style hummus was definitely non-traditional, but it was unique and still very nice. I would make any of these again, in an instant. Each of these recipes represents half a "regular" batch of hummus; if you choose to make just one, I suggest doubling the recipe. Just toss all your ingredients in the food processor and go to town, adding liquid as needed to get a smooth consistency.

Basic Lemon-Garlic Hummus

1 cup chickpeas
1 tablespoon tahini
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Salt and black pepper
1 tablespoon water

Garden Hummus

1 cup chickpeas
1 tablespoon tahini
1 large green onion (white and green parts)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
4 pieces sun-dried tomatoes (from a jar, packed in oil)
1 clove garlic
Salt and black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons oil from the sun-dried tomatoes jar

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

1 cup chickpeas
1 tablespoon tahini
1/2 red pepper (roasted for about 10 minutes at 400 degrees, cooled, and peel removed)
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon water

Southwest-Style Hummus

1 cup chickpeas
1 tablespoon tahini
1 teaspoon chipotle paste
Juice of 1/2 lime
1/4 jalapeño pepper, or to taste
1 clove garlic
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro
1-2 tablespoons water

Balsamic-Roasted Asparagus

1 bunch asparagus, stems trimmed
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
Black pepper

Place vinegar and oil in roasting pan. Add asparagus and toss to coat. Sprinkle asparagus with seasonings and spread out into a single layer in the pan. Roast at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes, until tender.


KleoPatra said...

WOAH! a HUMMUS party! That is a super cool idea. And it sure was an elegant spread, what with those flowers as well brightening the whole table up, the greens 'n' shrooms, the strawbs, the beautiful tablecloth, the toasted wedges o'pita and all that hummus! Bliss!!

bazu said...

I love it- overworked and overstressed accountants wind down with HUMMUS! I wish I could have been there - what a gourmet spread. Mmmm asparagus. Mmmm strawberries. I hope your friends appreciate you two!

P.S. I know what you mean about reading poems in their original language! I tried translating some poems from French once. No matter how skilled the translator, there is no comparison to reading poems in their original language, since the sounds and cadence and rhythm and connotations can't be duplicated...

Kati said...

Wow - a hummus party! What a great idea. I've been mostly unsuccessful in making my own hummus at home - for some reason, the variety I buy at the store always seems to taste better. I will definitely try out your recipe, though.

laura jesser said...

Kleo, we were at my friend Abby's house and she was so excited to pull out all her fancy party stuff! I'm glad she did--it really dressed up the whole affair!

Bazu, yes--there's just so much richness that language itself adds to poetry beyond merely the meanings of words. And the more you know the language the fuller the experience is--I can read poetry in French, but there is so much I don't get because I don't have the emotional connections to the language that a native speaker would have. But the poem you shared, I got the feeling that it was pretty well translated--some of that depth seemed to come through. I bet translating poetry is a pretty daunting task! Oh yeah... hummus. Thanks! :)

Kati, I can't really stomach commercially prepared hummus--maybe it's just a difference in preferences. The secret I have found to making hummus more palatable for me is adding enough water so that the hummus is creamy, not pasty. I also think using homecooked chickpeas helps too--I cook them by the potful and then freeze them in 2-cup batches for later use. Anyway, if you give hummus another shot I'm interested to find out what you think of it.

scottishvegan said...

Oh yummy! A hummus party!! What a cool idea! Considering my love of chickpeas I don’t really make hummus very often…you have inspired me to try making some soon! I love roasted asparagus, but have never tried it with balsamic vinegar…it sounds great! Another thing to try!
I hope you liked the strawberries as much as I did! Thanks for linking to my blog!

Kate said...

I love the new layout (well I don’t know how new it is because I have not commented in a while). I think a hummus party is great idea! I especially want to try roasted red pepper.

aTxVegn said...

A hummus party is an excellent idea! I must try the SW hummus, and I just bought a beautiful bunch of asparagus this morning for roasting - thanks for the recipe!

Emmy said...

Oooh, four types of hummus in one it! They all look so tasty. I'm really intrigued by the Southwest-Style Hummus.

laura jesser said...

Scottish vegan, I did love the strawberries! It's amazing how balsamic vinegar pairs with them so well...

Kate, thanks--you have not missed the new layout for very long. This was actually my first time ever roasting a red pepper myself, and I don't know why. It's simple and much better than the canned peppers you can buy. If you make this hummus, I recommend roasting your own pepper!

Diann, I never did asparagus in balsamic before, but it's great! I hope you try it and like it just as much! And the southwest hummus DID make me think about you...

Emmy, thanks! It was fun. If you make the southwest style hummus, try it on a wrap with lime juice and avocado and sprouts--mmmm...

springsandwells said...

I love theme parties SO much!! :) A hummus party is a great idea!

I was thinking of doing strawberries with balsamic today for a dinner party. how was it? I think I may have to try a small bit and see what I think. Mint is a good idea, I do have mint in the gardene. hmmm. The problem is, it's hard to make strawberries any better than they already are!

laura jesser said...

Amey, I really liked the strawberries in balsamic vinegar. I added just a dab of sweetener (2 teaspoons to a whole pint of strawberries) just to help bring out their own natural sweetness, then tossed them with the vinegar. You're right, strawberries are to die for on their own! But the balsamic just helps bring out... something in them. If you do decide to do it, I bet the mint will make it really pretty. :)

Johanna3 said...

i want to be at the hummus party too! those strawberies looks too good!

thanks so much for all the recipes.

Urban Vegan said...

I like your new blog skin!

Hummus is what everyone thinks of when they think of vegan food--but your hummus extraVEGANza inspires us all to move on and be creative. Thanks for all the yummy recipes.

laura jesser said...

Johanna, I wish you (& all my blogging pals) could have come! The whole time I was thinking how exciting it would be to blog about it. :)

Urban vegan, thanks a lot! ExtraVEGANza... I love it.

theONLYtania said...

Wow, looks like a great party. Very fun :-) Thanks for the recipes!

Kris said...

Wow, I want to come over for a hummus party! Yum! They all look amazing! I like your dippers, too.

Hmmm, I'll admit that I'm skeptical about the balsamic vinegar over strawberries. I'm skeptical of all vinegar, though. I'm weird like that.

laura jesser said...

Tania, cooking parties are always fun, eh? :)

Kris, hah... I don't blame you for being skeptical about the strawberries. I think it's really good, as long as you don't overdo it on the vinegar... but if vinegar is not your thing, then I definitely wouldn't recommend this!

每当遇见你 said...

Here’s a list of tools you will need to start: Jewelers’ pandora jewellery wire cutters - If you can only afford one pair, get memory wire shears. pandora charms These are designed to make clean cuts on tough memory wire, so can also be used for pandora charms uk softer wires. Chain-nose pliers sometimes called cheap pandora charms needle-nose pliers – Very versatile for picking up and grasping small items, pandora charms sale bending eye pins, closing jumps rings, even closing crimp beads. discount pandora charms Round-nose pliers – Used for creating loops on beaded head and eye pins. Can also be used for winding your own jump rings and as the second pliers you’cheap pandora ll need for closing jump rings. Optional pliers – Wire-looping pliers which have several graduated circumferences to allow you to form perfectly uniform jump rings and loops in place of the pandora discount uk round-nose pliers mentioned above. Crimping pliers which have little notches to allow you to both flatten a crimp bead and then bend it to form a rounded finished look instead of the flat crimp you pandora uk get using the chain-nose pliers. As for materials, I recommend some assortment packs of beads in coordinating colors, some decorative metal spacers, seed beads in both silver and gold These can serve as spacers and beautifully set off pandora sale your other beads., tube-shaped crimp beads Buy the best you can find – these are what hold it all together!, head and eye pins. Other than that, let your choice of project be your guide. You might want some silver or pewter charms.