Artichoke tapenade with rosemary oil

Have you been asked to bring appetizers to Thanksgiving? Want to move beyond a pre-made vegetable-and-dip plate from the grocery store? Feel that hummus, however delicious, isn’t quite special enough? Worried that bringing good cheese for 15 will break the bank?

Here’s the plan: run to the store for canned artichokes, olives, capers, and lemon. Heat some oil and infuse with rosemary. Then whirl everything together in the food processor to make this glorious, earthy, herby artichoke dip. Put in a couple of pretty bowls, bring a few baguettes, and your job is done. Everyone will love you for it.

Continue reading “Artichoke tapenade with rosemary oil”

Zahav’s hummus

When I lived in Sydney, there was a Lebanese restaurant on my block that sold the smoothest, creamiest hummus. It was perfect. Yet it bothered me.

I couldn’t figure it out: why was their hummus so much better than mine? How did they get it so perfectly, pillowy smooth? When I added more liquid to mine, it got soggier. When I blended for longer–much longer, even–some graininess remained.

Then Deb said you had to peel the chickpeas. And so I did. I felt silly. (Who wouldn’t, peeling a pound of chickpeas one by one?) But more than that, it didn’t make sense. Surely the Lebanese restaurant down the road didn’t have an army of people peeling chickpeas in some back room–did it? Continue reading “Zahav’s hummus”