Monday, December 6, 2010

Simple Chickpea Spread

This could easily be made in larger batches and stored in the fridge. You would think that using "home-grown" versus canned chickpeas wouldn't matter for something like this, but the home-grown ones surprised me yet again -- they give the spread a deeper, fuller, nuttier flavor.

2-3 cups cooked chickpeas
Olive oil
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 large garlic clove, pressed
Pinch or two of saffron
Ground cumin
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/3 cup vegetable broth
Small handful cilantro, chopped

Saute the onion with a pinch of salt in olive oil over medium heat until soft. Add the garlic. Stir a few times, then add the chickpeas, saffron, and a liberal dousing of cumin. Saute for another minute or two. Add the turmeric and veggie broth, stir, cover, and turn the heat down slightly. Simmer for 10 minutes or so to let flavors blend, stirring once or twice and adding a little more broth or water if it starts to dry out. Turn the heat off, and add the cilantro.

Blend the chickpea mixture in a Cuisinart or blender until smooth, adding a little olive oil and/or broth if it's too dry. Serve warm or at room temperature on bread, toast, or crackers.

Serves 2-3 as part of dinner, or more as an appetizer.

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