Is there a better savory smell than roasting garlic?
“Garlic has been used as both food and medicine in many cultures for thousands of years, dating at least as far back as the time that the Giza pyramids were built”, according to Wikipedia. It has been thought to lower cholesterol, ward off heart disease, and could prevent certain types of cancer. It has both negative and positive spiritual connotations, as every major religion has some kind of reference or myth involving garlic.
So guess what my main ingredient was this week…garlic!
I decided to make a roasted garlic hummus to spice up the dreary day. Hummus is incredibly easy to make, and isn’t very time consuming. You do need a food processor to make quick work of it, however.
This week’s recipe comes from Cook’s Illustrated, my all-time favorite cooking magazine. I’m never concerned that one of their recipes won’t be fantastic because they do all the testing and experimenting for you. I looked at many hummus recipes, but ended up choosing theirs because I knew it would be tasty.
Start off with two nice sized heads of garlic – Cook’s recommends that you wrap your garlic in foil before roasting, and I had never done this before. It worked great and made for super easy clean-up. While that is cooking, you slice up another couple of cloves and make some fragrant garlic chips (you’ll use the garlic oil that is created as a result in the hummus).
You can choose to use dried chickpeas – soak them overnight and then cook them while your garlic is roasting (both will need to cool before you make the hummus). I chose to use a can of organic Field Day Garbanzo beans, for the convenience.
Customers really liked the hummus, and many had tips from their own hummus making experiences: a co-worker “sprouts” his dried chickpeas in hot water overnight and then doesn’t cook them; another recommends adding a shredded cucumber to the hummus, which would add a refreshing flavor to it; another adds grated fresh ginger.
Hummus is actually a pretty healthy snack when made from scratch – it is high in protein, iron, Vitamin C (especially if you use fresh lemon), and dietary fiber. Eating it with vegetables instead of chips or pita bread make it a healthy lunch for students or as an after-school snack.
ROASTED GARLIC HUMMUS
- 2 heads garlic + 2 thinly sliced garlic cloves
- 2 T extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
- 3 T juice from 1-2 lemons
- 1/4 water
- 6 T tahini, stirred well (I prefer roasted tahini for it’s fuller flavor)
- 1 (14 oz) can of garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 t sea salt
- Pinch cayenne
- 2 t chopped fresh parsley
- Remove papery outer skins from garlic heads and discard. Cut top quarters off heads and discard.
- Wrap garlic in foil and roast in a 350°F oven until browned and very tender, about 1 hour.
- Meanwhile, heat oil and 2 thinly sliced garlic cloves in a small skillet over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer garlic slices to paper towel lined plate and set aside; reserve oil.
- Once roasted garlic is cool, squeeze cloves from their skins (you should have about 1/4 c).
- Combine lemon juice and water in a small bowl or measuring cup. Whisk together tahini and garlic cooking oil in second small bowl or measuring cup.
- Process garbanzo beans, roasted garlic, salt, and cayenne in food processor until almost fully ground, about 15 seconds. Scrape down bowl with a rubber spatula.
- With machine running, add lemon juice water mixture in a steady stream through the feed tube. Scrape down bowl and continue to process for 1 minute.
- With machine running, add oil/tahini mixture in a steady stream through feed tube; continue to process until hummus is smooth and creamy, about 15 seconds, scraping down bowl as needed.
- Transfer hummus to serving bowl, sprinkle toasted garlic slices and parsley over surface, cover with plastic wrap and let stand until flavors meld, at least 30 minutes. Drizzle with olive oil and serve. If you do not plan on serving immediately, refrigerate hummus and garnishes separately. When ready to serve, stir in approx. 1 T of warm water if the texture is too thick.