Sunday, October 02, 2011

Eat: Edamame Hummus and Pita Chips

If you read my post from last week, you know that my Fig & Pear Pizza was quite time consuming and laborious. As pendulums are known to do, mine swung in the opposite direction this week. I decided to give myself a break and try something much easier. Although Edamame Hummus may not be challenging it is definitely still unique and delicious! It is a Japanese twist on traditional hummus, a chickpea-based dip common to Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine. A healthy and tasty alternative to your usual dips and salsa, it can be served with raw vegetables, crackers, chips, or my favorite: pita chips! Following the hummus recipe, I will explain how easy it is to make your own pita chips.

Since this recipe features a few ingredients that you may not be familiar with, I think it might be wise to briefly discuss these elements. First up is edamame. Edamame are immature green soy beans originating from Japan. They are generally cooked while still in their pods but do not confuse them with peas. Though similar in appearance, their tastes and textures are totally different. I, for one, do not like peas but love edamame. Their popularity has grown considerably over recent years and they can now be found in almost any grocery store.

Up next is tahini. The first time I made regular hummus, I had no idea what tahini was. I assumed it was some sort of seasoning and wandered the spice aisle of the grocery store like a lost child. Turns out, tahini is actually a paste made from sesame seeds and is used in many Middle Eastern dishes. You are most likely to find it in the foreign food section of your grocer. When I purchased it, my only option was a very large jar that will last me through several (several) recipes.

So now that you know a little more about the ingredients, let's discuss what to do with them.

Edamame Hummus…

TIME: 20-30 minutes (includes time to shell the edamame)
YIELDS: 2-3 cups

16 oz. of edamame (typical frozen bag)
¼ cup tahini
¼ cup water
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cumin
¼ teaspoon cilantro
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Optional: 1 tablespoon fresh parsley (or 1/3 tablespoon dried)

Cook the edamame according to the instructions on the bag. If you are using fresh beans and don’t have any instructions, I suggest you boil them in salted water for 4-5 minutes. Once cooked, remove the beans from their shells. This could take a while.

Combine all of the ingredients except the parsley and oil into a food processor. Puree until well-blended and smooth.

Transfer the mixture to a small bowl. Stir in the oil and parsley.

That’s it!

DIY Pita Chips…

TIME: 10-15 minutes
YIELDS: 30-36 chips

5-6 pieces of pita bread
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ teaspoon rosemary
Salt, to taste

Preheat the oven to 375° F.

Slice each pita loaf into six wedges.

Combine the oil, garlic, and rosemary in a small bowl. Stir thoroughly.

Brush the oil mixture onto each pita wedge and arrange slices on an ungreased baking sheet.

Bake for ten minutes or until edges start to brown. Note: the more oil you put on the slices, the quicker they will go from nice golden brown to burnt black. So keep an eye on the oven!

These dishes are slight variations of recipes found on the Food Network and Group Recipes.

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