Katherine Martinelli is an internationally published food and travel writer and photographer who contributes regularly to publications on three continents. She recently released her first cookbook, Puff Pastry at Brunch: 10 Sweet and Sa...
This Super Bowl Sunday, ditch the fatty fried foods and multi-layer dips in favor of healthier, more interesting Middle Eastern-inspired dips. Eggplant-based baba ghanouj, authentic hummus and simple tahini dip will be welcome additions to the table and are great with chips or -- even healthier -- veggies.
Besides being healthy, these dips are a snap to prepare and can be made ahead so you can spend your time keeping track of the score instead of in the kitchen. The only special ingredient you'll need here is tahini, the ubiquitous Middle Eastern paste made from sesame seeds. You should be able to find it in the ethnic aisle of the supermarket, at health food stores or online.
Makes 2 cups
2 (28 ounce) cans chickpeas
1/3 cup raw tahini, plus more as needed
Juice of 1 lemon
2 cloves garlic
1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped parsley or cilantro
2 tablespoons chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon cumin
Drain the chickpeas, reserving 1/2 cup of the liquid. Set aside 1/4 cup of the chickpeas.
Put the remaining chickpeas in a food processor and add 1/3 cup tahini, one teaspoon lemon juice and garlic and process until smooth.
If the paste is too thick (it will be), add a few drops of the reserved canned chickpea liquid or water to thin it out.
Taste and season with additional tahini, lemon juice and salt as needed until the desired taste and consistency is reached.
Put some of the hummus into a bowl. Pull a spoon around the middle in a circle to create a little trough. Drizzle with olive oil and top with reserved chickpeas plus parsley, onion and cumin.
Serve immediately with fresh pita, pita chips and vegetables for dipping. (While best served the same day it is made, hummus can also be stored in the refrigerator overnight. Stir before serving.)
Baba ghanouj recipe
Makes 2-1/2 cups
2 large eggplants (about 2 pounds total), halved lengthwise
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup tahini
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/8 cup chopped parsley or cilantro
Dash chili powder or cayenne pepper
Preheat the broiler.
Brush the flesh of the eggplant halves with olive oil and lay face down on a baking sheet. Broil until charred.
Remove the eggplant from the flame or broiler and allow to cool.
Scoop out the pulp and blend in a food processor.
Pulse or stir in the tahini, lemon juice, garlic and cilantro or parsley. Season with a dash of chili powder and salt.
Serve warm or at room temperature with pita chips and/or vegetables. You can refrigerate overnight and bring to room temperature before serving.
Tahini dip recipe
Makes 3/4 cup
1/2 cup tahini
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons to 1/2 cup water
1/2 cup chopped parsley (optional)
Whisk together the tahini, lemon juice and garlic (you can also do this in a food processor, but a whisk is preferable).
You will probably find that at this stage, the tahini will become quite thick and dry. Stir in cold water a few drops at a time until the tahini dip is the consistency you want. It should be thin enough to drizzle but thick enough to dip.
Pulse or stir in cilantro or parsley, if using. Season with salt to taste.
Serve at room temperature. Can be refrigerated overnight, but bring to room temperature before serving. If it thickens too much in the fridge, stir in a few drops of cold water until smooth.