Thursday, September 4, 2008

Enough Sense to Know Good Food

We all go through those finicky years of youth when we have a passionate hate for certain foods, right? Some people are more vocal about it than others, but there's always that one kid who makes his opinion known with a dramatic, puckered faced "eewwwww." (Actually, such a vision brings back memories of opening up my lunchbox in elementary school, and my classmates reacting to the sight or smell of some incredibly healthy concoction my Jif-and-Oreo-hating mother had packed.)

Fortunately, my mom never stuck hummus in my noontime meal. Back then, I would have revolted as much as the students around me. There was just something about its grainy texture and beige color that got to me, and for many years I (foolishly) declined hummus, avocados, zucchini, and mushrooms.

Thank goodness I came around, and, by junior high, enough sense had been knocked into me that I was eating all four of these items gleefully. This new found wisdom opened up a whole new array of foods to me, and, though never a skeptic, I became a wholehearted lover of Greek food.

I think it's fair to say that my entire family loves the flavors of Greece. Just take a look at the recipe book my mom put together for us, and you will find three variations on its most common salad. The easiest way I know to satisfy my "Greecey" (an endearing term my friends and I used while visiting Athens and Naxos) cravings is homemade hummus, soft pita bread, and a fresh salad. This time around I attempted to make the pitas myself, and it turned out quite well. The bread wasn't perfectly round and didn't puff up entirely in the middle, but none of these things affected the flavor. Bonus: they are easy (just allow for rising time -- something I always underestimate).

My go-to hummus recipe is a Gourmet classic from 1988. I love the parsley oil drizzled on top (though sometimes I'm lazy and just toss the parsley in with the hummus) and the simplicity of garlic, tahini, chick peas, and lemon juice.

For the sake of variety, I would love to get some recommendations for less conventional hummus recipes. Roasted red pepper? Cumin? What do you put in yours?

Recipe Links:


GrantJM said...

Do you handle mail order yet? Refrigeration included? Sorry, had to ask - it's dinner time here and I'd rather wait for your menu at my table.

Stacey Snacks said...

Re: Hummus recipe: (a little unconventional, but try it!).

1 can chic peas, a head of roasted garlic and good extra virgin olive oil, a handful of fresh, chopped rosemary. Hand mash, or put in food processor and add more oil for more creamy. Garnish w/ toasted pine nuts & roasted red pepper, salt and pepper. SO GOOD!

Lael said...

Stacey: Thanks! I am a sucker for rosemary. This sounds so simple and delicious.

Y said...

I love hummus + pita + salad too! A great mini meal. I don't usually like to do too much with the hummus - but there's always a hint of toasted and ground cumin in it. :)