I’m so excited!

Four things I’m super excited about right now:
1. My weekly box from Full Circle. A box of fresh veggies and fruit delivered to my doorstep while I sleep? It’s like Christmas every Wednesday! I love it!
2. Nice enough weather to have an afternoon coffee on my patio. Seriously…you don’t appreciate mid-60s weather until you’ve experienced the coldest Seattle spring on record in more than a half-century.

3. My Cinco de Mayo menu, adapted from the May issue of Bon Appetit:

  • Chili-braised pork shoulder (from BA…rub is on and pork is resting in fridge)
  • Bacon-simmered pinto beans (from BA…beans soaking on the counter)
  • Pickled onions (from BA…made and in the fridge)
  • Fresh tortillas (got my bag of Masa and my tortilla press!)
  • Guacamole (got my ripe avocados, my limes, my cilantro, and my salsa)
  • Fresh salsa (shortcut here…purchased from the Mexican grocer at Pike Place Market)
  • Shredded cabbage or slaw (haven’t decided which)

4. An article I saw Monday from Big Girls, Small Kitchen on “The 10 Best Ways to Eat on the Cheap.” It inspired me to get creative with the batch of classic hummus I was going to make, which allowed me to use up some Italian parsley and (rather spendy) basil that I didn’t have a firm plan for. The result? Pesto hummus! Spontaneous deliciousness!
First I’ll give you the original recipe, which I’ve been making for years (based on a recipe from the Dean & DeLuca Cookbook), then I’ll mention the modifications I made for the new hybrid delight.

Hummus
Serves 4-8

Ingredients:
2 14-ounce cans chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 cup tahini paste
1/3 cup lemon juice
salt and white pepper to taste (or black pepper if you don’t care that it shows)
olive oil for drizzling
paprika and ground cumin (optional, but nice)

  1. Drain one can of chickpeas, but not the other. Dump into food processor and pulse a few times.
  2. Add chopped garlic, tahini and lemon juice. Process until mixture is fairly smooth. The goal is a medium-thick spread (If you feel like it’s too thick, you can add some water at this point.) Season with salt and pepper and process a bit more.
  3. Scrape into a shallow serving bowl or a platter and drizzle with olive oil. For an extra pop of color and flavor, sprinkle with cumin and/or paprika. 
  4. Serve with pita wedges, chunks of hearty bread, or raw veggies for dipping. Also lovely served with some feta cheeses and Kalamata olives.

Now, for the pesto version!

  • I swapped the tahini (sesame seed paste) for a handful of walnuts, which I tossed in the food processor first with the chopped garlic, roughly torn basil leaves, parsley leaves (I didn’t have many of these…it was mostly basil) and some olive oil. 
  • Then I processed until it was a nice green paste. Then I added the two cans of chickpeas (one drained, one not) and processed until everything was mixed and it was a nice consistency. Then I added the salt and pepper and processed a bit more. 
  • I left out the lemon juice (in spite of losing that liquid, I didn’t need extra water), and did not sprinkle with the spices. Since I put olive oil in the mixture, I chose not to add more on top.
  • You could totally substitute white beans for the chickpeas in this version. I plan to do that myself sometime. When I do, I might add some grated Parmesan, too.