Editor’s note: Sadie Davis-Suskind, 14, is an eighth grader at Jane Addams Middle School and an aspiring chef. A former “MasterChef Junior” competitor, Davis-Suskind will share each week a recipe that other kids can make as well.
Hey, readers! I hope everyone is keeping busy with schoolwork, connecting with friends and family (virtually) and learning new skills.
My family is on a board-game streak and I’ve recently proclaimed that I’m going to paint my bedroom a different color. Not sure the parents agree with this decision, so stay tuned!
As always, I would love to hear your questions and ideas for future dishes. Come chat with me on Instagram (@juniorchefsadie)!
So here we are at Week 3 and because I, like everyone else, have been lounging on the couch and thinking a lot about what I want to eat, comfort foods have been on my mind. Anything savory, creamy and loaded with flavor.
My great-uncle Bernard, originally from London, moved to Israel as a young adult and then to Los Angeles to raise his kids. Being a committed foodie, he brought all of the recipes that gave him joy when he was in the Middle East to America in his suitcase.
He opened a restaurant in Venice, California. It was there that he offered me homemade hummus for the first time and I fell in love. But be warned: Homemade hummus — creamy, garlicky with fresh notes of lemon — will make you turn up your nose at the store-bought stuff forever. You’ll never go back.
1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ cup lemon juice
1 medium-to-large clove garlic, roughly chopped
½ teaspoon fine sea salt, to taste
½ cup tahini
2 to 3 tablespoons ice water, more as needed
½ teaspoon ground cumin (if you like the flavor)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Chopped or torn fresh parsley leaves
Optional: Can be served with more olive oil, smoked paprika, olives, tomatoes, feta cheese, cucumbers, pita bread or chips
Let’s go step by step:
1. Pour your rinsed chickpeas in a medium saucepan, then add baking soda. Cover them with 2 to 3 inches of water and bring to a boil over high heat. Boil for about 20 minutes until the chickpea skins are falling off. Pull one out and if it squishes beneath your fingers, it’s soft enough! Drain the chickpeas in a strainer and run cool water over them for about 30 seconds. Boiling the canned chickpeas in water for 20 minutes before puréeing them will give you the silky-smooth texture you want. Put your chickpeas aside.
2. Grab your blender or a food processor. Drop in the lemon juice, garlic and salt. Keep blending until the garlic is finely chopped. Then — and this part is important — let the mixture rest for about 10 to 15 minutes. This will give you all the garlic flavor without that sharp, hot garlic bite. The chemistry here is cool, so Google it if you want more info.
3. Now, add your tahini into the mixture. You can stop the machine and scrape down any that is sticking to the sides. Blend until it is thick and creamy. You want your hummus to ultimately look smooth and have a pale color. In order to get that, slowly add two to three tablespoons of ice water as you blend until you have a consistency that looks good to you.
4. Finally, add your chickpeas (and cumin, if using). Drizzle in the olive oil and keep blending for about two more minutes or until the mixture is creamy and smooth. You can add more ice water or olive oil if you want it to be ridiculously creamy; it’s your call. Add more salt and lemon juice to taste.
5. Scrape this amazing concoction into a bowl and garnish with the torn-up parsley. You can add a generous drizzle of olive oil and smoked paprika on top or serve with anything that will add some tang and sharpness to the dish: olives, tomatoes, chunks of feta cheese, cucumbers and, of course, lots of pita bread or chips.