roasted pine nut hummus

roasted pine nut hummus
Hummus is a Mediterranean dip made of chickpeas (garbanzo beans), tahini (sesame seed paste), garlic, lemon juice, and spices. I’ve been a hummus connoisseur for quite some time and I wasn’t super fond of many that were out on the market so I started trying to make it myself. For several years I could never get it quite right, following recipes from cookbooks or off other sites, then one day I discovered the secret… it’s all about warm beans! Say goodbye to chunky hummus with a watery consistency! I prefer to start from dried beans but if you decide to use canned beans (which is totally okay) heat them up for about 5 minutes. Definitely don’t cook them as long as I indicate or they will get hard and… not so delicious.

This recipe is smooth, creamy, and very flavorful with the roasted pine nuts… I think I’ve finally perfected it and it may just be the best darn hummus you ever did eat!
pine nuts banner
Roasted Pine Nut Hummus

Prep time: 9 hours
Active prep time: 1 hour
Makes about 4 cups

1 cup dried garbanzo beans
6 cups pure water
3 garlic cloves
½ cup raw pine nuts
2 tablespoons tahini
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (plus more for drizzling)
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoon cumin
pinch of cayenne
dash of paprika

  • Soak the dried garbanzo beans (chickpeas) in 3 cups of pure water overnight or at least 8 hours.

Now there’s a lot of things you could do in 8 hours. You could sleep, have a full work day, go for a long adventure in nature, read an enthralling book, or a whole bunch of other things… but if you have no idea what you’re going to do for the eight hours while you’re beans are soaking, I’d like to recommend you check out this captivating and inspirational full length movie called Thrive on YouTube. Disclaimer: It’s only 2 hours long but it will likely change the way you look at the world forever, in the most wondrous way.

Well, how was it?!

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Using a colander, strain the water from the soaked beans and rinse them thoroughly. Add them to a large measuring cup, if you have one, and you will see they’ve about doubled in size to 2 cups. Fill the measuring cup with pure water up to the 4 cup mark then add the contents to a heavy large pot and bring to a boil.

soaked garbanzo beans in measuring cup

  • Once boiling, reduce to low heat, cover and simmer for 25 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, peel and trim the ends from 3 cloves of garlic and wrap them together in a small piece of aluminum foil. Roast them in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until soft but not mushy.
  • Spread the pine nuts in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast them for 5 minutes. It’s crucial not to over roast them! 1: they taste terrible when over done and 2: they’re kinda pricey but really give this recipe the special flavor it needs.
  • Set aside a tablespoon of the roasted pine nuts and add the rest along with the roasted garlic to a food processor or heavy duty blender. Turn on low for about 1 minute until almost a paste consistency and scrape the sides using a spatula.
  • Strain but reserve the liquid from the cooked beans.
  • Add the garbanzos, tahini, lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, cumin, and pinch of cayenne and blend on high, adding ¼ cup of the bean liquid at a time until you reach your desired consistency. I usually add somewhere between 1 cup and 1½ cups. Note: it will thicken as it cools.
  • Add salt to taste, transfer to a dish, sprinkle with paprika and reserved roasted pine nuts, drizzle with olive oil and serve as a snack or appetizer with veggies, pita, or crackers. It will keep for up to a week in the fridge.

Enjoy!

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As always, I welcome your thoughts in the comments section below!

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sweet potato frittata with goat cheese and thyme

sweet potato frittata with goat cheese and thyme
A dish I would often make when I was working in the kitchen of the guest house in Italy was frittata. It’s easy, affordable, protein filled, and can be made using a variety of ingredients.

Well, this morning when I awoke I was hungry and I wasn’t sure what I wanted to make today but then it came to me in a flash (and perhaps slightly influenced by what I had in my kitchen pantry) – sweet potato frittata with goat cheese and thyme. Super fast to make and filling, it’s a great source of protein and complex carbohydrates to balance blood sugar.

eggs lemon zest thyme

Sweet Potato Frittata with Goat Cheese and Thyme

Prep time: 15 minutes
Ready in: 20 minutes
Serves 4 to 6

1 medium sweet potato
4 pastured eggs
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
zest of 1 lemon (about 1 tablespoon)
2 tablespoons of thyme leaves
¼ teaspoon of sea salt
½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
¼ cup goat cheese crumbles

  • Peel and slice the sweet potato into ¼ inch rounds (about 1½ cups) and steam over high heat for 6 minutes until slightly tender but no where near falling apart.  Meanwhile zest the lemon, separate the thyme leaves from their stems.
  • Whisk the eggs together and add the zest, thyme, salt, and pepper.
  • Heat a heavy non stick pan over medium high heat and add the olive oil and sweet potato slices in a single layer. Fry on each side (about 2 minutes each side) then add the egg mixture and evenly sprinkle the goat cheese over it.

Here comes the fun part, FRITTATA FLIPPING!!!  If you’re feeling bold, you can try doing it like this guy or you can try it by using a plate to flip.
sweet potato frittata with goat cheese and thyme mixture in pan
How I do it:

    • After I pour the mixture into the sizzling hot pan, I make a few breaks in the bottom of it using a spatula, in order to get as much of the egg cooked on one side as possible.
    • When the edges are golden brown and peeling away from the pan, cover the top of the pan with a large plate or lid and holding it firmly, in one fell swoop, flip the pan and plate over and slide the other side back into the hot pan.
    • Cook for another couple minutes, pushing the edges down to make sure they fully cook then transfer to a clean plate, slice, and serve.

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Buon Appetito!

As always, your thoughts are welcomed in the comments section below.

lemony kale and quinoa salad

I love winter in San Francisco and all the food that’s in season!

kale lemons parsley

I heard a knock at my door the other day and when I opened it, no one was there, but sitting on my doorstep was a gift bag of lemons. My neighbors are the best.

Shortly after that, I went to the grocery store to find that organic lacinato (dinosaur) kale was on sale – 2 bunches for $3 – such a great deal! I grabbed two of those, came home, picked some parsley which is growing like a weed (among the weeds) in my backyard and whipped up this savory salad recipe.

And for a little comic relief where lemons are involved:

Ha!

Lemony Kale and Quinoa Salad

Prep time: 15 minutes
Ready in: 30 minutes
Serves 6 as a side dish

¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves minced garlic
1½ cup rinsed quinoa
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
1½ teaspoon sea salt
3 cups water
1 bunch dinosaur kale, cut into chiffonade (about 4 cups)
zest of 2 lemons
juice of those 2 lemons
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon real maple syrup
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
3 tablespoons minced Italian parsley
more sea salt to taste

  • Mince the garlic and put aside ¼ of it for the dressing.
  • Heat a heavy pot over medium heat for 15 seconds add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. When the oil shimmers (in 15-30 seconds), add the remaining ¾ of the minced garlic and let it “sweat” for 1 minute. Add rinsed quinoa, turmeric, and 1 teaspoon of salt, and stir to coat. Toast for 30 seconds
  • Add water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes — do not stir. When time’s up, remove the pot from the burner and fluff with a fork, then leave uncovered for 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, “massage” the kale with ½ teaspoon salt in a large bowl for a minute (kale will shrink in volume). Squeeze the kale and discard the juices that come out of it.
  • In a glass measuring cup, add ¼ cup olive oil, the lemon zest and juice, maple syrup, dijon mustard, black pepper and parsley and whisk together.
  • Add quinoa to the bowl with the kale, cover with dressing, and stir it all together. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Enjoy!

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lemony kale and quinoa salad 014

As always, your thoughts are welcomed in the comments section below.

lucky black eyed peas

dry black eyed peas

Happy New Year!

In southern lore, black eyed peas are thought to bring good luck when eaten in copious amounts on New Year’s Day. So, in the midst of your New Year’s eve prep or New Year’s Day recovery, slow cooking them in a crock pot is awesomely lucky because it’s super easy!

Some prefer to soak the beans for 8 hours to break down the carbohydrates before cooking them and while I have done this before and it definitely reduces the slow cooking time drastically, I have found they are more flavorful when slow cooked from dry beans in chicken broth. For the vegetarians, you can substitute the chicken broth with veggie broth and omit the bacon. Also, this is an excellent “day 2” dish, meaning it’s even better the longer it stews in it’s own juices.

I reckon that the luck of this dish comes from the spice. But that could just be me…

I just can’t get enough!

I will be the first to admit I have a spice addiction – hot sauce in particular. I consider myself a connoisseur of spice. (Sounds classy, doesn’t it?) At one point, I realized that my hot sauce habit was costing me $6 a week. I found this phenomenal secret sauce and I was having it shipped to me directly from the manufacturers in Portland because I couldn’t find it anywhere within 300 miles of San Francisco. Ridiculous, I know! I saw things were getting out of hand so I (tried to) cut back. Then I was averaging about $3 on a good week (just half a bottle)… hopefully I have my habit under control.

This dish is spicy all by itself and definitely doesn’t need any extra heat. In fact, if you’re sensitive to spice, feel free to halve the amounts of jalapeño and cayenne.

Though optional, I recommend a dollop of sour cream on top to balance the spiciness. And for the full southern comfort, I always like having cornbread with this dish. For those gluten free like me, I recommend Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Cornbread Mix (available at most fine grocery or natural foods stores), and I use coconut milk and coconut oil in place of milk and butter. Super tasty!

Lucky Black Eyed Peas

Prep time: 30 minutes
Ready in: 6-8 hours
Serves 8

6 cups chicken broth
2½ cups black eyed peas (rinsed)
1 red onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and chopped
1 jalapeño chile, stemmed, seeded, and minced
6 slices thick cut bacon, chopped
1½ teaspoons cumin
½ teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
salt, to taste
cornbread (optional)
sour cream (optional)

  • In a heavy pot or in a ceramic crock pot, sauté the onions, garlic, bell pepper jalapeño, bacon, and spices over medium heat until onion is translucent and bacon is cooked, stirring constantly.
  • Transfer to crock pot / slow cooker, add the black eyed peas and broth, stir it up, cover and cook on low for 6 hours.
  • If after 6 hours the peas are still not soft enough, turn the heat up to high and check on their tenderness and stir every 30 minutes until ready.
  • Divide into bowls with a piece of cornbread and a dollop of sour cream and enjoy!

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lucky new year black eyed peas

I wish you health and happiness in 2013 and as always, your thoughts are welcomed in the comments section below~

delicious quote

I’m off to Mexico and am inspired to share a delicious quote with some extra flavor today.
neruda quote

“Ay, amar es un viaje con agua y con estrellas,
con aire ahogado y bruscas tempestades de harina:
amar es un combate de relámpagos
y dos cuerpos por una sola miel derrotados.”

“Loving is a journey with water and with stars,
with smothered air and abrupt storms of flour:
loving is a clash of lightning bolts
and two bodies defeated by a single drop of honey.”

~ Pablo Neruda

Merry Solstice & Happy Holidays! I look forward to reconnecting with you and sharing another recipe upon my return next week!

Find more #deliciousquotes on Twitter @bomphenom