Sunday, May 29, 2016

Pottery Love, a handcrafted Bowl and Yotam Ottolenghi & Sami Tamimi's Basic Hummus


These days I am constantly on the lookout for beautiful, hand-crafted plates and bowls, the ones that make you stop in your tracks, the ones that are unique, in beautiful, elegant hues and that are worth photographing without any food. Unlike shopping in potteries in Denmark and the UK, around here, it is not one of the easiest of tasks finding unique dinnerware. And until I have convinced a nearby pottery to start producing these beauties, I shall buy the ones from Copenhagen, like this amazing, greyish-glazed small bowl from Danish pottery artist Christian Bitz that I found at one of my very favorite stores in Cologne yesterday.




I took one look at the breathtaking display of Bitz´s wares and knew that I would be making Yotam Ottolenghi & Sami Tamimi's Basic Hummus from their Jerusalem: A Cookbook today and serve it in one of these bowls. It is fascinating how one can look at bowls and plates and handcrafted dinnerware and, at the same time, know which food they would be the perfect vessels for. I find myself totally smitten with this style of pottery.

It is like an hommage to hummus that Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi would devote more pages (eight in total) to its preparation than anything else. One of the most beloved dishes in Jerusalem, hummus is a must-cook recipe from this book. This version is too enticing to pass up. This is hands-down the best hummus I have ever prepared and tasted. Topped with just a few extra chickpeas, served with Jerusalem (!) artichoke chips fried in a bit of mild olive oil, finished with Maldon sea salt, then drizzled with my favorite olive oil, this was a dish we just could not stop eating. We were in hummus bliss.

It is noteworthy that most from-scratch hummus recipes involve simmering the chickpeas for a good 1 ½ to 2 hours. Ottolenghi and Tamimi's are done in just 20 to 40 minutes. Simply by carefully following the easy recipe, make sure to briefly cook the soaked chickpeas directly with baking soda which will scruff up the skins and allow them to cook much faster and purée smoother.




Basic Hummus
(makes 6 servings - recipe adapted slightly from Jerusalem (page 114)

Ingredients
  • 250g (1 ¼ cups) dried chickpeas (I used the one´s from this company)
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
  • 6 ½ cups water
  • 270g (1 cup plus 2 tbsp) light tahini paste
  • 4 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 100ml (6 ½ tbsp) ice cold water
  • fine sea salt
  • high quality olive oil, to serve (optional)




Preparation
  1. The night before, put the chickpeas in a large bowl and cover them with cold water at least twice their volume.
  2. Leave to soak overnight.
  3. The next day, drain the chickpeas.
  4. Place a medium saucepan over high heat and add the drained chickpeas and baking soda.
  5. Cook for about three minutes, stirring constantly.
  6. Add the water and bring to a boil. Cook, skimming off any foam and any skins that float to the surface. The chickpeas will need to cook for 20 to 40 minutes, depending on the type and freshness, sometimes even longer.
  7. Drain the chickpeas. You should have roughly 3 2/3 cups now.
  8. Place the chickpeas in a food processor and process until you get a stiff paste.
  9. Then, with the machine sill running, add the tahini paste, lemon juice, garlic, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt.
  10. Finally, slowly drizzle in the ice water and allow it to mix for about five minutes, until you get a very smooth and creamy paste.
  11. Transfer the hummus to a bowl, cover the surface with plastic wrap, and let it rest for at least 30 minutes.
  12.  If not using straightaway, refrigerate until needed. Make sure to take it out of the fridge at least 30 minutes before serving.
  13. Optionally, to serve, top with a layer of good quality olive oil.




This Basic Hummus recipe is super-smooth and rich in tahini, and can be kept in the fridge for up to three days and used simply spread over a plate, drizzled with olive oil and eaten with fesh pita or bread. According to Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi, it can also be varied by folding in cooked and crushed chickpeas thus adding texture, adding some ground cumin and adjusting the amount of lemon juice and tahini to suit you.


20 comments:

  1. I have been cooking from Jerusalem (that spinach/date/pita bread staple is everyone's favorite here) and Ottolenghi's pizza (which you already made), etc., but have never made the hummus. It's Memorial Day Week-end. Time to make it. Beautiful post again. Love the bowl.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Then it is a true pity that you did not take pictures of all that spinach/date/pita bread and Ottolenghi's pizza and share them on your blog and fb. Since I did wish you a nice Memorial Day Weekend in my comments, I do know that it is a "long weekend" for all of you in the US, enjoy.

      Delete
  2. The hummus sounds delicious - and the bowl is lovely!

    ReplyDelete
  3. This is a perfect early summer treat! And I love that you're on the hunt for beautiful pottery. I have a weakness for it myself, but I try not to indulge it too often.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Teresa, you are right, beautiful pottery can be a tad pricey. But since we successfully wrapped up Hugh´s River Cottage Everyday Veg, I felt like splurging on a Friday evening.
      Thank you for your kind comment,
      Andrea

      Delete
  4. I know exactly what you mean when you wrote about certain dishes make you think of certain foods, beautiful bowl and presentation. Very nice Andrea!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cheri, as I said before "great minds just think aslike" - am glad that we both enjoy pretty plates and bowls to suit our delicious and lovingly prepared foods.

      Delete
  5. I am making this humus sometime this week. You picked a beautiful bowl. In another life I did pottery for 10 years.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gerlinde, you did pottery, how wonderful - certainly hope you kept your handcrafted works of art - you should take pictures of them and feature them prominently in one of your blog posts if you still have them.
      Liebe Grüße,
      Andrea

      Delete
  6. I love your bowl too and find myself doing the same thing when I see a beautiful dish or bowl or pan or cake stand or .... The hummus looks so smooth and creamy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Chris. beautiful bowl, wonderful recipe, what more could one possibly ask for?!
      Thank you for stopping by, dear friend!

      Delete
  7. I rarely get to eat hummus unless I make it myself (garlic, you know...). I have heard that this recipe is the best, and that it is the smoothest, creamiest ever. Perhaps it is the baking soda? The bowl you purchased is absolutely gorgeous... I am sitting here now trying NOT to order the most beautiful wooden cake knife I found online. Somebody needs to take away my credit card!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. David, hummus is such fun to make and when you do make it yourself at home, obviously you can omit the garlic and it will still taste uterrly amazing.
      I managed to stay away from the store for a few days now...I can do it...
      We will see how long that will last...
      Andrea

      Delete
  8. Andrea, your photos are always just so stunning!
    The creamy texture of the hummus and those tempting crispy sunchoke chips are killing me here!
    Luckily, I have a handful of sunchokes in the fridge at the moment.

    Hope you're all doing well there. xoxoxo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Colette, delighted to read that you enjoy my pic - always such a joy to learn that reader actaully enjyo the photos I take and post. Thank you for that! The recipe much be the best there is for hummmus, the creamiest I have ever made and I will never turn back.
      Thank you for stopping by, dear friend!
      Andrea

      Delete
  9. What a beautiful bowl Andrea, and your Hummus looks out of this world. This must be the year of the Hummus for between Yotam Ottolenghi & Sami Tamimi's Basic Hummus from their Jerusalem: A Cookbook to Michael Solomonov and Steven Cook with Zahav, it seems more people are preparing homemade hummus around the world than I've ever seen, or that has been publicly shared anyway! Gorgeous shots too, of course!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Peggy, yes, you are absolutely right, hummus recipes seem to be omnipresent. No surprise, they are versatile, healthy and a huge hit with the kids, which is always great if you ask me!
      Thank you for stopping by,
      Andrea

      Delete
  10. Oh Andrea, this is sure a bowl of goodness...you hummus is so smooth...creamy...I would love to dip into it...great photos as usual :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, dear Juliana! Yuu are such a kind person and I appreciate all your comments!
      Loved taking pictures of this beautiful bowl and the hummus.
      "See" you soon!
      Andrea

      Delete