Hummus Masbacha

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Recipe courtesy of Chef Michael Solomonov

When Zahav opened in downtown Philadelphia, it was one of the first restaurants of its kind. Prior to this, Israeli cuisine was strangely under-represented among American restaurants. Chef Michael Solomonov, who learned his trade in Israel, brings authentic Middle Eastern food to the Philadephia region, as featured in this episode of WHYY’s Friday Arts.

Photo Credit: Zahav Restaurant

Yield: 6 servings

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Ingredients

  • 1 lb dry chickpeas
  • 1 tbsp baking soda
  • 1 whole head of garlic with the skin on, plus one clove with the germ removed
  • Approximately 4 oz of fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 lb unhulled sesame paste
  • 4 oz grape seed oil
  • 6 oz extra virgin olive oil (preferably from Turkey or Israel)
  • 1/4 cup Italian parsley, chopped
  • Kosher salt
  • Ground cumin

Directions

  1. To make the hummus, cover the chickpeas and baking soda with at least double their volume of water and soak, refrigerated, for 18 hours. Drain the chickpeas and rinse thoroughly in cold water. Place the chickpeas in a large pot with the whole head of garlic and cover with water. Bring the water to a boil and reduce the heat to low. Simmer the chickpeas over low heat for approximately three hours, or until very tender. Drain the chickpeas, reserving one cup of the cooking liquid and one cup of whole chickpeas. Discard the garlic bulb. In the bowl of a food processor, add 12 ounces of the sesame paste and the cooked chickpeas. Puree the mixture with the grape seed oil and two ounces of lemon juice, adding enough reserved cooking liquid to achieve a smooth, creamy consistency. Season to taste with kosher salt and ground cumin.
  2. To make the tehina, combine the remaining lemon juice and sesame paste with the garlic clove and cup of warm water in a blender. Blend at high speed until smooth and add 4 ounces of olive oil. If the puree is too tight, adjust the consistency with additional warm water. Season to taste with kosher salt and ground cumin.
  3. To serve, spoon the hummus into a large shallow bowl. Using the back of a spoon, push the hummus to the edges of the bowl to create a well in the center. In a mixing bowl, toss the reserved chickpeas with the tehina sauce and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Spoon the dressed chickpeas into the well in the center of the hummus. Garnish the hummus with the chopped parsley and remaining olive oil. Serve immediately.
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