We're crazy about this Middle Eastern chickpea-and-sesame-paste puree;
1 3/4 cups dried chickpeas, soaked overnight
2 garlic cloves, minced to a paste
1/4 cup tahini paste
1/3 cup lemon juice
salt and white pepper to taste
olive oil for drizzling
paprika and ground cumin (optional)
Arabic bread, such as pita, as an accompaniment
1. Drain the soaked chickpeas. Cover them with water and simmer until quite soft, about 1 1/2hours. Drain chickpeas, reserving a little of the cooking water.
2. Pass chickpeas through the fine blade of a food mill. Mix chickpea puree with garlic paste, tahini paste, lemon juice, and about 1/4 cup of the cooking water. The goal is a medium-thick spread. Season to taste with salt and white pepper. Serve on a platter, drizzled with olive oil. (you may also sprinkle paprika and/or ground cumin on the hummus.) Serve with slices of Arabic bread, like pita, to scoop up the hummus.
We're crazy about this Middle Eastern chickpea-and-sesame-paste puree; served cold with pita, olives, and raw vegetables, it makes a great start to a festive dinner party. In this dish, the best texture of all is obtained by passing the cooked chickpeas through a food mill; other devices-like a food processor-are acceptable, but inferior. The following version is lighter than most, because it doesn't contain oil (but you may drizzle the finished dish with olive oil). Serves 4 as a first course