Posts from the ‘middle eastern’ Category

black garlic hummus !!!


we have an awesome outdoor market called green city market that i LOVE to hang out & shop at first thing in the morning-7am-before the massive crowds show up. i can only hit a few stalls per visit because it’s SO overwhelming. yesterday i saw little virgin bloody marys that had a piece of black stuff on a pick. i pulled one out & quietly sipped. i was being watched by the vendors. i sniffed the black thing, so interesting, & chomped down. i heard a chorus of angels in my head. it was my first taste of black garlic ! and i HAD to have more. it’s not cheap-around $3/bulb, but i bought 2 & a jar of the puree, which sells out fast. i have never tasted anything like it. it completely blew my head off.

i couldn’t wait to run home & make the most obvious dish with it-hummus. i used a basic recipe & increased the garlic from 2 cloves to an entire bulb of the black garlic. i wanted tons of that incredible flavor which is nothing like regular garlic. i can’t even describe what it reminds me of because it’s totally in a league of it’s own.

the hawks playoff game against the kings would be on in the evening & black garlic hummus was the PERFECT game nosh. it turned out totally amazing! seriously the very best hummus i have ever had! i used plentils-little lentil chips instead of pita. it worked perfectly.

i will never be the same again.


baba ghanoush

i went to the green city market yesterday morning. it’s a lot more fun to shop at farmer’s markets because of the varieties. for instance, they had 5 different types of eggplant to choose from. i wanted to make baba ghanoush because i was reading a thread on yelpabout someone who hates eggplant & wanted to know how to love it. i realized that i don’t cook with it enough. i decided on little striped japanese eggplants because they are the most flavorful. i think those giant italian ones are too tough to make a good dip. they are good for breading, as in eggplant parmesan, but those little ones are better for other things.

this is super easy & very healthy. only a few ingredients-lemon juice, olive oil, tahini, roasted eggplant & garlic. i toast my pita in a pan with a little butter. great!

moroccan lentil soup

i LOVE lentils. they are packed with nutrients, fat free & delish. i once went on a diet of only lentils & lost a lot of weight. but that’s not why i cook them. this is an AWESOME recipe that is more indian than moroccan. it uses fresh roasted & ground spices, which i have a lot of. like garam masala & roasted cumin. i put a LOT more spices than the recipe calls for, used real stock instead of water & my new favorite friend – the pressure cooker – to cook dried beans instead of canned is a MUST. i used french green kidney beans which are nice & sweet-a great compliment. this was eaten up quickly 😦

moroccan lentil soup

simple hummus

i used to make 50 gallons of hummus at a time when i worked at an old-school health food store called “foodworks,” many years ago. i remembered the recipe. it’s hard to get it good with dried garbanzos, so i usually use canned. this time i was intending on using the garbanzos in another dish & changed my mind. i did manage to get it to a good consistancy. here’s how i did it.

soak 1-2 cups garbanzos for 36 hours
pressure cook 2 hours, let stand an hour, cook another hour, let stand 8 hours.

combine in food processor with
half a cup tahini paste
juice of one lemon
handful of chopped parsley
3-8 cloves of minced garlic (all depends how much you like garlic-i like to roast it first)
tablespoon roasted cumin
salt & pepper to taste

after blended well, slowly add the olive oil while it’s processing.

you can do so much with this basic recipe-add hot chilis, different kinds of spices, etc.

apologies for the bad photo. my camera is dying.

spanakopita-the perfect hors d’oeuvre

one little box of phyllo has a lot of sheets. i was trying to decide between making a baklava or spinach pies. it was clear to me that having a whole baklava in the house might not be a great idea. especially when trying to get rid of my ponch belly. spanakopitais not much better calorie wise. the main ingredient is & always will be when using phyllo-butter. i used to make these & balkava all the time at my cooking job for neiman marcus. so i understand phyllo. it dries out very easily so you have to keep the sheets covered with plastic & top with a wet towel. they can be made ahead of time & just popped into the oven & baked for 20 minutes. the filling is anything you want, but to this recipe i added a finely diced onion, some garlic & plenty of feta. the spice that makes this dish special is nutmeg.