Saturday, May 22, 2010

Hummus, Tatziki and Pita

It is a running joke in our family that Mark is a carnivore that will not consume a meatless meal, at least not enjoy one. This one changed all that, well okay just for this meal, and it really had nothing to do with an intention of being meatless, it just turned out that this is something we really both love. He claims that the reason that it is okay even though it has no meat in it is because it has so much flavor, works for me.

1 can chickpeas, drained, liquid reserved
1/4 c tahini
juice from 2 lemons
6 large cloves of garlic, grated or mashed
2 T extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Put all ingredients except reserved liquid in the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth, add enough liquid to make the consistency right for dipping.

Hummus is all about what you like, add more tahini, add less, more or less lemon or garlic, add in some roasted red peppers, hot yellow peppers, horseradish, onion powder, chili sauce, whatever makes it work for you. Our favorite brand of both chickpeas and tahini is Ziyad, it took us a while to find the one we like, try different ones they all taste much different than you would imagine since they pretty much all look alike. Oh and lastly the thing that amazed us was that hummus served as a meal out is a huge pile of hummus and a little bit of pita, this isn't the food that you put a speck on your bread, that pita is basically just an edible spoon.

1 24oz container plain Greek yogurt
1 large cucumber, seeded and grated into a strainer, let sit for a bit to drain some of the water off, squeeze some out but don't squeeze it dry or you'll have no flavor left
10-15 large cloves of garlic (or as many as you can handle) grated or mashed
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 T dill weed
1 t Penzy's Greek Seasoning
1 T olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients and enjoy! It gets better with time, and the garlic will actually get hot if you add LOTS and let it sit for a few days, yum!

For Serving
We love to serve this on a plate, a nice heaping helping of hummus, a big spoonful of tatziki, a little pile of feta cheese (Sam's has a good brand but it needs aging and is much better if you bring it home, remove it from it's wrapping, wrap in wax paper and store in an open Ziploc bag in your fridge for a month or so) some diced red onion and tomato and a nice big pile of fresh whole wheat pita.

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