Wednesday, March 28, 2012


Goodbye Tessa, it's been a pleasure!  This is the last Tessa Kiros themed week at I Heart Cooking Clubs.  Although I jumped on the bandwagon only for the last several months, I have thoroughly enjoyed discovering the food of Tessa's family and ancestral heritage.  There are so many recipes that I have ear marked in her books that I own Twelve - A Tuscan Cook Book  and Falling Cloudberries.  These cookbooks won't be collecting dust on the shelf, trust me.

The final recipe I chose is Tessa's Hummus from Falling Cloudberries.  Hummus is one of those snacks you don't feel guilty about eating.  Once you learn to make your own you'll never spend money on it at the market again.  It's especially easy when you use canned chickpeas.

Here's what we start with:  chickpeas (that are in the bowl that I guess I thought everyone could see through), garlic, tahini, lemons, olive oil and paprika.

You can find prepared tahini at your market but I enjoy making my own.  Tahini is simply roasted sesame seeds and extra virgin olive oil.  It only took a couple of minutes to prepare the amount in the Mason jar that you see here.

I'm using canned chickpeas this time around (so much faster!).  Drain them but be sure to reserve the liquid; you may want to use some toward the end of the recipe.

Crush the clove of garlic and, using a little salt, create a paste.  I do this by mincing the garlic as fine as I can get it, sprinkling it with salt and then scraping and mashing it back and forth with the flat of my knife.

Put the chickpeas, tahini and garlic in a blender or processor.  I used the processor but a blender gives it a smoother texture.  I ended up going back with an immersible blender to smooth mine up.

Process until crumbly.  Season with a little salt and then add the lemon juice and process until nice and smooth.

Pour into a small bowl and thoroughly mix in the olive oil.  If it's a bit dry add a little of the reserved chickpea liquid.  Taste to determine if it needs more salt.  Sprinkle with the paprika.

There are so many ways to serve Hummus.  You're not limited to the traditional pita bread.  I like to eat it with crudites.  Sometimes I just grab and spoon and enjoy.  Tessa writes that she especially likes the hummus heaped onto some crusty bread together with slices of juicy tomato and an extra drizzling of olive oil and some salt. Y-U-M!!

Here's how I made my tahini:
On a jelly roll pan, in a 350°F. oven, roast 2 cups sesame seeds (you can find them roasted in the store as well).  Roast for about 5 - 10 minutes but watch that they don't get too brown.  Let them cool on the pan for about 20 minutes.

Pour the sesame seeds into a food processor bowl and add a little less than 3/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil.  Blend for 2 minutes.  The consistency you are after is a smooth, thick mixture but pourable.  Add more oil and blend if it is too thick.  Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.  It should last about 3 months.

From Tessa Kiros' Falling Cloudberries'

1-1/4 cups chickpeas or 1 (16 ounce) can chickpeas
1 large garlic clove
3 Tbsp tahini
juice of 2 lemons
3 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp sweet paprika

Mise en place:
  • if using dried chickpeas soak them overnight; if using canned, drain reserving the liquid
  • Crush garlic into paste
  • measure out tahini
  • juice the lemons
  • measure out olive oil
If you are not using canned chickpeas, drain the soaked chickpeas into a saucepan, cover generously with water, and bring to a boil.  Cook over medium-high heat for about 1-1/2 hours, until they are softened.  Drain, reserving some of the cooking liquid.  Pass the chickpeas through a large-holed sieve to remove their skins.

Crush the garlic with a little salt until if forms a purée.  Put the chickpeas, tahini, and garlic in a blender, purée a little, and then season with salt.  Add the lemon juice and continue puréeing until smooth.  Scrape out into a bowl and thoroughly mix in the olive oil.  If it's a bit too dry, add some of the reserved chickpea liquid.  Check that there is enough salt.  Sprinkle with the paprika and drizzle with a little more oil if you like.  Hummus will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.

I'm sharing this post at IHCC.


  1. I love making hummus--you are right, it is hard to go back to store-bought after making your own. ;-) A great Tessa dish to go out on.

  2. Love hummus. Way to go making your own tahini!

  3. Hi Jamie,
    I'm stopping over from IHCC! I have never tried making hummus before even though I've always wanted to! This sounds delicious and wonderful with homemade tahini! I do make my own tahini as the ones sold in jars are really expensive over here.
    Have a lovely day!

    1. Thanks for stopping by! I'm looking forward to 6 months of Rick Bayless? Hope to see you at IHCC!

  4. I love hummus! I even use the leftovers in sammies.
    Great choice! Maybe I should make some to go with my keftedes tonight..

  5. Oh, you're so right. Hummus is one of mine and hubby's FAVORITE snacks. Heck, we turn it into a meal sometimes. Yours has me craving some right now! So happy you've joined us at IHCC lately...hope you'll stick around to explore Rick with us!

    1. I've already been checking out Rick's books! Can't wait to get started!

  6. My tessa kiros books are not going to get dusty either! Glad you loved it too.

  7. Hummus is quite easily one of my favorite things to eat! I can definitely make a meal out of it. Your version looks incredibly creamy. Nice choice for our last week. Looking forward to cooking Bayless with you :)