Friday, February 27, 2009

Hummus, deconstructed.


So now you have bread. Undoubtedly you have your favorite way to enjoy it--with wine, dipped in olive oil and cayenne pepper, spread with peanut butter, toasted with jam, smeared with nutella and topped with bananas...the list goes on.

But here's another way to do things. This sandwich recipe is almost like a deconstructed hummus. I was intrigued primarily because I love chickpeas, but also because there's a potato masher involved. Lord knows I love my potato masher, and have found enough uses for it to justify the dollar I spent on it.

This sandwich is also vegan (shhh!) and probably somewhat healthy, but please, don't let that stop you. It keeps well wrapped up in a sandwich or in the fridge and, depending on how much olive oil you 'glug' in, will not make your bread mushy.

Deconstructed Hummus Sandwich
Makes about 4 sandwiches
1 loaf no-knead bread
1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons pitted, halved and very thinly sliced black olives
1 tablespoon finely chopped red onion
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
Zest and juice from half a lemon
Couple good pinches of salt
A few grinds of black pepper
A few glugs of olive oil

1. Combine ingredients in a medium bowl.
2. Using the back of a fork or a potato masher, lightly smash the chickpea mixture until you're somewhere between a coarse chop and a puree. This is a wide margin of texture, I know, but you want there to still be visible pieces of chickpea but enough puree to hold the mixture together.
3. Spoon the mixture on to the bread. Use the back of the spoon to spread and condense it.

It really is that easy. The olives lend the saltiness, the lemon the acidity, the parsley a fresh taste, and the red onions a spicy note. The chickpeas are an excellent vehicle for all these strong flavors. I'd call it a well constructed deconstruction.

Here's one for a bad week, as it seems many of us had:

Love Does That
Meister Eckhart

All day long a little burro labors, sometimes
with heavy loads on her back and sometimes just with worries
about things that bother only

And worries, as we know, can be more exhausting
than physical labor.

Once in a while a kind monk comes
to her stable and brings
a pear, but more
than that,

he looks into the burro's eyes and touches her ears

and for a few seconds the burro is free
and even seems to laugh,

because love does

Love frees.

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