|Hummus. (Courtesy of London Free Press)
Ground sesame seeds, tahini, adds the earthy nutty flavour to this chick pea dip. Make a bowl of hummus part of a party offering with warmed pita, oil-cured black olives, cherry tomatoes and a wedge of feta. You can buy hummus, but it’s so easy and inexpensive to make. Why spend all that time shopping when you could be cooking!
- 1 can (19 oz./540 ml) chick peas, drained and rinsed (2 cups/500 ml)
- 2/3 cup (150 ml) tahini
- 1/3 cup (75 ml) fresh lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp. (30 ml) each dark sesame oil and olive oil
- 1 tsp. (5 ml) each salt and ground cumin
- Dash hot pepper sauce
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) water, approximate
- 1 clove garlic, minced
In food processor, whirl chick peas, tahini, lemon juice, sesame and olive oils, salt, cumin and hot pepper sauce until smooth. With machine running, pour in water, adding more if needed to make a creamy sauce. Pulse or stir in garlic. Scrape into airtight container and refrigerate for up to 4 days.
Makes 2 cups (500 ml)
The Many Tastes of Hummus: Think of hummus as a basic dip, ready to receive scads of variations. For example, replace chick peas with white kidney or black beans. Whirl in 1/4 cup (60 ml) minced parsley or basil, or half roasted peeled red pepper, pesto or sun dried tomatoes.
Spinach with Mushrooms and Sesame Seeds
Here sesame seeds dress up spinach and mushrooms, but try sesame seeds, simple heated in melted butter or olive oil over broccoli, asparagus and green beans. Try black sesame seeds and butter over cauliflower or mashed potatoes.
- 4 cups (1 L) packed baby spinach (6 oz./175 g)
- 2 Tbsp. (30 ml) olive oil
- 2 cups (500 ml) sliced cremini or white mushrooms (8 oz./250 g)
- Half small onion, diced
- 2 tsp. (10 ml) sesame seeds
- 1/4 tsp. (1 ml) salt
- 1/4 tsp. (1 ml) pepper
Wash spinach; trim only coarse stems. Place in heavy saucepan; cover and cook with just water clinging to leaves over medium heat until barely wilted, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain, pressing gently to get rid of excess liquid. Chop coarsely.
Meanwhile, heat oil in medium skillet; add mushrooms, onion, sesame seeds, salt and pepper. Saute over medium-high heat until moisture has evaporated and mushrooms are golden, about 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in the spinach; toss well and heat through.
Makes 4 servings.