Monday, July 1, 2013

Basic Hummus + Pickled Red Onions

In the spirit of the approaching 4th of July holiday, I wanted to post two recipes for my favorite BBQ fixins': hummus and pickled red onions. If you are struggling to eat up your CSA broccoli, carrots and kohlrabi*, then chop them up and eat with hummus. 

In college, my roommates and I had a nice grill and a large backyard which brought about many BBQs each summer. We were mostly vegetarian at the time, so my standard BBQ meal was black bean burgers with hummus. While I have since grown tired of those black bean burgers (sending me on an endless journey for the best veggie burger), I still like to make hummus as a classic and healthy dip. 

It might be puzzling that I have never been a fan of sauerkraut. It was not a common condiment in my household growing up, which certainly contributed. There is something in its sour aroma that keeps me away. Despite my resistance to fermented cabbage, I still like having something tangy with my barbecued food. A few years ago I discovered a very simple pickled red onion recipe, and I instantly fell in love. It's subtly sweet flavor enhances rather than overpowers. Plus, it seems to satisfy even the sauerkraut lovers. 

Basic Hummus

scant 2 cups cooked chickpeas, or 1 15 oz can, drained
1/4 c roasted tahini
1/4 c lemon juice, or to taste
2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed

1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
1/4 tsp cumin
about 1/3 c water

good quality extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp parsley, chopped
various raw vegetables, sliced into sticks
pita, sliced

In a large food processor, blend chickpeas, tahini, garlic, salt, cumin and lemon juice until well blended.  Slowly add water until very creamy and smooth. Adjust seasonings and lemon juice as needed.

Spread in a shallow bowl or plate. Drizzle with oil.  Dust with paprika and garnish with parsley. 

This pickled red onion recipe is a now staple in my rotation. It's very easy to make and keeps in the fridge for months. 

It may seem odd that there is so little liquid in the recipe. However, once you get the onions cooking, they will release quite a bit of their own liquid. 

Pickled Red Onions
adapted from David Lebovitz

This recipe is also great on tacos. 

3/4 c white vinegar
3 Tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 clove garlic, peeled
2 to 3 black peppercorns
1/4 tsp whole coriander seeds or about 9 seeds
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1 red onion, thinly sliced

In a small saucepan, heat the vinegar, sugar and salt until just boiling. Add the seasonings and onion slices, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for about 30 seconds.

Remove from heat and let cool. Store in a jar in the refrigerator for many months.

*Note: Not sure how to prepare kohlrabi or how to eat it? Read below.

How to prepare kohlrabi:

Cut off all spindly pieces. Peel off skin, and cut off thick bottom. Slice into sticks. Eat with hummus. 

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