I am a hummus fan and a homemade hummus addict. Homemade hummus and other bean dips just taste so much better than store-bought. Although I favor my own classic hummus with plenty of garlic, cumin and lemon, for noshing, I like to try new flavor combinations. This hummus-like Spanish-Style Chickpea Dip is from Mark Bittman's The VB6 Cookbook: More Than 350 Recipes for Healthy Vegan Meals All Day and Delicious Flexitarian Dinner at Night (companion to his VB6 book). The recipe is one of the variations listed to the Southwestern Bean Dip with Peppers and in addition to having all of the components to make it in my pantry, I was drawn to the twist of the Spanish flavors.
Bittman says, "Commercial bean dips generally aren't too bad, but when you make them yourself with fresh, real ingredients, they become healthy snacks that are still loads of fun."
Spanish-Style Chickpea Dip with Carrots
Adapted from VB6 by Mark Bittman
(Makes 4 Servings)
3 cups cooked or canned chickpeas
1 small white onion, quartered
1 garlic clove, smashed
1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves
1 Tbsp sherry vinegar
2 tsp smoked paprika
salt and black pepper to taste
(I added 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice)
Drain beans. (Reserve cooking liquid if home cooked, discard and rinse liquid if canned.) Put all ingredients into food processor and puree, adding water (or reserved cooking liquid) as needed to make dip smooth but not watery. Or, if you wanted a lumpier texture, mash the beans by hand and then mince and stir in other ingredients.
Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Serve at room temperature, refrigerate until cold or warm in a small pot over medium-low or the microwave. Garnish with sliced or chopped almonds and serve with carrot sticks.
Notes/Results: Slightly smoky and with good flavor, this is a great addition to my hummus/bean dip repertoire. Without a tahini-like binder or olive oil, the consistency is a little less creamy than a hummus, but it tastes great and is a healthy choice in terms of fat--especially when served with carrots or other vegetables to dip (although it is pretty wonderful on warm bread) ;-) After tasting the dip for seasoning, I wanted a bit more brightness and instead of adding more sherry vinegar, I added lemon juice--I think if you don't have sherry vinegar on hand, lemon juice would be a fine substitute. I will make this again.
I am linking this dip up at I Heart Cooking Clubs--where it is Potluck Week--the chance to cook any Nigel Slater dish or a dish from any previous IHCC chef like Mark Bittman. You can see what everyone made by checking out the picture links on the post.