Classic Hummus

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1 can of garbanzo beans (15.5oz)

1/2 cup water

3 tbsp. tahini paste

2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

2 tbsp. olive oil

3 garlic cloves

1/4 teaspoon salt

Combine all ingredients into a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. This hummus really shouldn’t be eaten until it has been left in the fridge for 24 hours. Once it has had time to hang out in the fridge, the garlic flavor mellows out  and the olive oil flavor is a bit more pronounced. I add some water to my hummus because I just feel like it is way too thick otherwise. Once refrigerated, the hummus will thicken a bit. If you are not a fan of garlic, reduce the amount of cloves to one. Also, if you have never purchased tahini before, most grocery stores carry it and it should be next to the peanut butter. I first constructed this recipe a handful of weeks ago and since then I have been making it in double batches for Gar and I. I’m usually dipping at least one carrot or pita chip in my quart-sized container of hummus each day.

Tahini Yogurt Sauce

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For those that don’t know, tahini is a paste made from sesame seeds and it’s good (I know its hard but try to hold back your admiration for that incredibly informative description of tahini). I picked up my tahini at a health food grocery store and it was next to the peanut butter oddly enough… or maybe it’s not odd I don’t know. I wanted to make a tahini sauce for some falafels that I was frying up.

Continue reading “Tahini Yogurt Sauce”

Green Garlic

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I found this at the farmer’s market. The guy behind the table said, “Have you seen our green garlic? It’s our special today and it’s not going to last long.” I asked him if you could use the green stalk portion and he said yes. At home, I dis-assembled the stalk of my green garlic and only used the heart of it like I would a leek. The stalk is basically a small version of a leek except it has a mild garlic flavor instead of a mild onion flavor.

Julie’s Pasta Sauce

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When you make your own pasta sauce, a simple spaghetti dinner night is transformed into something far more appealing. This sauce is so simple and so tasty: bright, sweet, and with a lovely toasted earthy flavor. I also love that the sauce remains bright red in color.

Usually when I make my own sauce it’s a simple Marinara. I sweat out garlic and onions with some Italian herbs, then, I reduce a little red wine and add peeled, crushed tomatoes with salt and sugar. However, this week when I decided to make spaghetti for dinner, I called my fiancé’s mom Julie, to find out how she makes her amazing sauce. I love Julie’s sauce for many reasons but what really stands out is it’s brightness in flavor. The sauce has a tang similar to the brightness of citrus but without the sourness. I was surprised to find out how incredibly simple it is to make it.

Start by toasting 8 or 9 cloves of garlic, as described in my Toasted Garlic post. After your garlic is toasted, add a large can of peeled, crushed tomatoes (Julie recommends Hunt’s) and a pinch of salt. This sauce does not need to be simmered over time, just warmed. After everything is stirred together it is as good as it will be the next day.

It was funny to think back to when I didn’t know what was in Julie’s sauce, because I would have guessed it was more complex than it is. However, the toasted garlic and the olive oil give it a perfect complexity of flavor. For those of you who are not the biggest garlic fans, I would still try this sauce. The garlic flavor is very present, but it’s not overwhelming.

Toasted Garlic

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I’ve toasted so much garlic, usually in butter for my mashed potatoes, that I am well aware of the dangers of burning it. Here’s my number one tip: don’t walk away from the garlic as it cooks, and stir it almost constantly. To get started for a Marinara sauce, put about 3 healthy tablespoons of a good extra virgin olive oil into a skillet on medium to medium-low heat, depending on the stove. Next, add enough finely chopped garlic to mostly cover the bottom of the skillet. I used about 8 or 9 cloves of garlic, which is good for a large pot of pasta sauce or a family-sized serving of mashed potatoes. I was using kind of a large skillet in this picture, so my garlic didn’t completely cover the bottom. Just be sure to spread your garlic out on the bottom of the skillet, so that it all cooks evenly. The garlic needs to be toasted until it is a light golden brown, as shown in this picture. It’s very easy to burn your garlic, and once it turns a medium to dark brown it becomes bitter and will ruin your meal.

Check back tomorrow for a simple pasta sauce recipe using toasted garlic, it’s one of my favorites!