OK, let’s face it. It’s hard to screw up Hummus. Basically, throwing some garlic, a can of chick peas, tahini, salt, a bit of lemon juice and oil into a food processor and shmooshing it up is going to taste pretty good. But this recipe is partially the result of a happy accident. Having a craving for hummus one night, I was dismayed to find that I was (apparently) out of tahini, but I did have some raw sunflowers seeds lurking about. Hey, sesame seed paste – sunflower seed paste – what’s the diff? During the preparation, I managed to find some tahini in the downstairs fridge, so I was able to add it after all. Upon subsequent cravings, I’ve been inspired to try many things — cashew nuts, poppy seeds, different spices, lime juice instead of lemon juice – the door is wide open here for some fun. What follows is my current fave. Note the use of grapeseed oil instead of the traditional olive oil. You might want to cut down on the amount of garlic, if you’re not as big a fan as I am!
· 3 tablespoons canola oil
· ½ cup raw sunflower seeds
· 1 ½ tablespoons turmeric (the wonder spice!)
· 1 tablespoon cumin
· 6-8 cloves of garlic, peeled (but remember, you were warned!)
· the juice of 3 limes (or 2 lemons, if you like)
· 2 tablespoons tahini
· 1 teaspoon of sea salt
· ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (or to taste)
· 2 19 oz. cans of chick peas, drained
· ¾ cup grapeseed oil
· Hungarian paprika (to taste)
In a skillet, gently roast the sunflower seeds in 3 tablespoons of canola oil. After 2 minutes, add the turmeric & cumin and stir. Don’t overcook! When done, remove from heat and set aside. (note: For those of you on a raw food kick, you can add the sunflower seeds, turmeric and cumin without cooking first, thereby eliminating the need for the 3 tablespoons of canola oil.)
In a food processor, puree the garlic. Add the tahini, lime juice and salt and blend thoroughly for at least a minute. To this, add the sunflower seed mixture and red pepper flakes and blend until smooth. Add the chick peas, a half a can at a time and process well. Finally, with the food processor on, slowly pour in the ¾ cup of grapeseed oil. When thoroughly mixed, place in an attractive bowl and drizzle a bit more oil over top and sprinkle with the paprika. Serve with toasted pita bread and bite-size vegetables for dipping.