Friday, October 31, 2008

Naomi's Favorite Hummus

This is adapted from a Mark Bittman recipe:

2 cups drained canned chickpeas, liquid reserved
1/3 cup tahini (sesame paste), optional
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 to 3 cloves garlic, peeled
salt and black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon ground cumin or paprika, or to taste, plus a sprinkling for garnish
Juice of 1 lemon, plus more as needed

Put everything in a food processor or blender and puree; add the reserved chickpea liquid or water as needed to allow the machine to produce a smooth puree. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve sprinkled with cumin or paprika. Goes well with homemade pita chips and raw vegetables.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Butternut Squash Risotto

This recipe feeds 4 as a main course and about 8-10 as a side dish.

1 large butternut squash (about 2 pounds), peeled, seeded, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (you can often find pre-cut butternut squash to save time)
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 tablespoons olive oil
6 cups (about) chicken stock or canned low-salt chicken broth
3 large leeks (white and pale green parts only), thinly sliced (about 3 cups)
2 cups arborio rice or medium-grain rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400°F. Place squash on large rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper; toss to coat. Roast until tender and beginning to brown, stirring occasionally, about 40 minutes.

Bring stock to simmer in heavy large saucepan. Reduce heat to very low; cover and keep stock warm.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in another heavy large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onions and garlic and sauté until soft but not brown, about 10 minutes.

Add rice; stir 1 minute. Add wine and simmer until absorbed, stirring constantly, about 2 minutes.

Add 1/2 cup hot stock; simmer until absorbed, stirring frequently. Add remaining stock 1/2 cup at a time, allowing stock to be absorbed before adding more and stirring frequently, until rice is tender and mixture is creamy, about 25 minutes longer. You can taste grains of rice throughout to determine when enough stock has been absorbed. If the grain is chewy, continue to add stock until it is soft.

Add cream and Parmesan; stir until heated through. Add squash. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve warm.