hummus and pickled carrots
I was flipping through some old issues of Saveur when an article on Jerusalem caught my eye. It featured vivid scenes of a bustling shuk, or market: shakshuka–eggs poached in a spicy tomato sauce–simmering away on a stovetop; bakers pushing a speedrack full of rugelach up the street; two young men frying falafel at an outdoor stand, using an iron pot the size of a bathtub. Oh man, I love me some falafel. And shakshuka. Aaaaand…hummus. There was a great recipe for hummus.
Pickles totally go with hummus. My favorite vegetable to pickle? Carrots. A couple years ago, my sister and I headed to Iowa to visit my grandma, who was about to start chemo and was lacking in appetite. We went armed with tasty, tempting snacks. My sister brought a jar of fancy-pants pickled carrots, and it was all I could do to keep myself from eating them all. Stealing your sick grandmother’s pickles = not cool. My grandma is a master canner/pickler. She and my grandfather lived most of their lives on a (magical!) farm out in the country, so they were never lacking in things to preserve. You know that lovely fragrance a tomato plant exudes? Always makes me think of that place. I remember their basement shelves lined with dozens of jars of tomatoes. She just sent me some of those vintage jars. Score! I guess it’s about time to start using them; it suddenly seems as though fall is just around the corner. [holy stream of consciousness, batman!]
Hummus (from Saveur)
makes one quart
5 ounces dried chickpeas
1 teaspoon baking soda
5 cloves garlic, crushed
3/4 cup tahini (use 1 1/4 cups if you really like the sesame flavor)
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for garnish
1/8 teaspoon sumac or paprika, for garnish
pickles and bread, for serving
Combine dried chickpeas with baking soda and 6 cups cold water; cover and let soak overnight. Drain chickpeas and transfer to a saucepan, covering with six cups fresh water. Cover and bring to a boil over medium-high heat; cook until very tender, 40-50 minutes. Drain, reserving the cooking liquid.
Add chickpeas to the bowl of a food processor along with garlic; process for 2 minutes. Add 3/4 cup of the cooking liquid, the tahini, lemon juice, and olive oil; season to taste with salt. Process, stopping occasionally to scrape the sides of the bowl, until the mixture is very smooth, about 5 minutes. Cover and refrigerate to let the flavors mingle, at least 4 hours.
Pickled Carrots (from gourmet)
1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into 3″ by 1/3″ sticks
1 1/4 cups water
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 1/2 tablespoons dried dill, or dill seeds
1 1/2 tablespoons salt
Place carrots in a large jar.
Bring remaining ingredients to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Pour mixture over carrots and let cool at room temperature, uncovered. Then transfer to refrigerator, covered, and let chill for at least a day to let carrots soak up the flavors. Keeps up to a month in the refrigerator.