I felt it today. That first sign of fall weather to come. Of course, it could just be the overcast skies and slightly cooler temperatures (it's our first day out of the triple digit summer heat here in Texas) we're experiencing today, but I even thought that for a moment, I caught a whiff, albeit faint, of that fall weather smell. I don't know how to describe it exactly, but you know what scent I'm referring to, right? That distinct smell that October, and sometimes September, bring. It's my favorite scent. If I could package it and sell it a bottle, I would. I know we're not quite there yet, but that little tease of cool breeze heightened my anticipation for the approaching season greatly. Fall weather gets me excited for all the ingredients that have been hibernating for far too long. Root vegetables, pumpkin, sage, butternut squash.... all of which seem to warm you up from the inside out.
But I guess before I can relish in the cooler weather, I'll have to stick out the last few weeks of summer. Which I suppose isn't too terrible. It gives me a few opportunities to bid farewell to my summer time favorites: basil, juicy tomatoes, watermelon, berries, and lemon. Of course lemon is virtually a season-less fruit, you can find it in supermarkets just about any time of year, but for whatever reason, the sweet and tangy taste of lemon is something I crave just about all summer long. Perhaps it's the refreshing quality lemons lend or the way they seem to brighten and heighten the flavor of almost any dish.
I snack on hummus frequently and often in mass quantities. I eat it on sandwiches and wraps, with veggies and chips, even sometimes just spread on lettuce. I'm very picky about my hummus, however. I like a thinner consistency, an un-grainy texture, and lots of flavor. (Out to Lunch, sold at Whole Foods, is a great brand to try). Even with all the stipulations that I require of hummus, I've never bothered to make my own. Which is somewhat embarrassing now that I know how easy it actually is. Seriously, a food processor and 10 minutes is all it takes. It's even better, and I'm sure healthier, with home made pita chips.
Lemony Garlic Hummus
Recipe by Karlie Kiser
1 ½, 14-oz cans of garbanzo beans, liquid reserved
¼ cup plus 1 tbsp tahini
½ cup lemon juice
½ tsp lemon zest
5 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
reserved liquid from garbanzo beans (add to achieve desired texture, I would suggest at least 1/3 cup to ½ cup)
½ tsp paprika, divided
¼ tsp cumin
¼ tsp ground coriander (optional)
½ tsp chile powder
¾ tsp kosher salt
fresh pepper to taste
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp parsley, chopped
1. In a large food processor, add the drained garbanzo beans, tahini, lemon juice, zest, and garlic. Pulse until all ingredients come together. Add enough of reserved garbanzo bean liquid to achieve desired consistency. I used a little over 1/3 cup. Process until the mixture is smooth.
2. Add 1/4 tsp paprika, cumin, coriander (if desired), chile powder and salt and pepper to taste. Pulse mixture to combine.
3. Spoon prepared hummus into serving dish, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with remaining 1/4 tsp paprika and chopped parsley. Enjoy with your favorite pita chips or cut veggies.