Homemade – semi

Remember that show with Sandra Dee or Sandra Lee? She would always be swathed in really good lighting as she made things with cake mix? I think there was always a color theme too… like when she made green and red food she’d be wrapped in the Italian flag or something. I enjoyed it.

This past weekend I took this dip – which was totally inspired by Deb Perelman of Smitten Kitchen – and bastardized it ala Sandy.

An Yotum Ottolenghi recipe was also involved. Stay with me.

Deb Perelman’s cooking, if you don’t know it, is right up my ally. Fuss free but impressive. In my book of lady cooks I turn to – it’s Ina, Martha and Deb. The order changes depending on recipe. A whole Turkey for Thanksgiving? Martha’s my gal. Baking? Hello Ina. And everything in between is Deb.

Back to it.

So I wanted to make something to take to a July 4th Party. Deb had a great recipe for hummus piled with a tomato and cucumber salad.

I’d made it before. It was delicious. I just had some issues. My number one being a deep dark secret. I don’t love tomatoes. Are you still there? Do you hate me? I’m sorry. It’s a very controversial statement. Almost as bad as “I don’t love berrries”, but don’t worry. I wouldn’t go that far. And if I did – I wouldn’t tell you. Yum berries!

So I tweaked the recipe. Kept the cucumber, added a radish. Yes a radish! A totally under appreciated vegetable that can take the place of an onion in many salads. And I doubled the amount of parsley and mint. Maybe tripled. When I showed this recipe to a friend she said, ” oh like tabouli….”. It is tabouliesque.

Radish + Cucumber

I really wanted a salty brine to it and found this in my pantry. Perfect.

I poured half the jar in. With the dressing.

Side note. A couple of years ago I bought this thingie, this can-opener-pop-up thingie. It’s amazing. It works. Thank you Darcy for making me get it.

Now that we have the salad done. We need the hummus.

This is the part where you could totally just buy the hummus. It would still be homemade. You still chopped shit for gods sake. But hummus you make, even semi-make is so much better than the stuff in the store ( not judging, I’ll eat that all day long).

But making it IS actually easy and it ALWAYS tastes better. Last summer I dove deep into all the recipes from Yotem Ottolenghi. His books are beautifully photographed and easy to follow – check out his website https://ottolenghi.co.uk/

His recipe calls for soaking dried chickpeas overnight, fresh garlic, lemon and tahini. That’s it. I followed it to a semi-tee.

I didn’t measure anything. I just eyeballed/tasted it.

Canned beans? Yep. Garlic in a tube? Absolutely. Still worked. Add some tahini and fresh lemon (see..FRESH) and voila!

Stuff it all in your son’s Nutribullet and let it whirl!

You’ll get a consistency that’s softer and runnier than store bought hummus. Don’t worry – you didn’t do it wrong. Put it in the fridge for a couple of hours and it’ll firm up a bit, but still be smooth and creamy!

Plate it all on a festive dish – add some feta cheese and good olive oil to gild the lily and go impress some people!

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