Thursday, June 15, 2017

Kalamata Olive Hummus

Have I mentioned how much I looooovvvveee olives? They're one of my favorite foods. According to my Grandma Irene, my love affair with them started in her kitchen when I was about 2. Hummus is one of my go-to healthy snacks, and since I've started making it regularly the store-bought stuff just doesn't quite cut it anymore. Makes about 2 cups of hummus.

  • 2 c cooked, drained chickpeas (home cooked from dried is best, but 1 can will do)
  • juice of 1 lemon (if the lemon doesn't have much juice, add a little more)
  • 1/4 c tahini
  • 1-2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper, plus a dash of hot sauce or paprika if you like. 
  • 1/2 c pitted Kalamata olives, plus a few more for garnish

1. Put chickpeas, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and tahini in the bowl of a food processor or blender. Blend until evenly smushed into a puree--they might still look a little grainy, but you'll add enough olive oil to fix that. 

2. With the motor running, drizzle in 1 to 2 Tbsp olive oil, pausing after the first to let it blend another minute. If it's smooth enough, you don't need the second tablespoon. 

3. Taste to see if the lemon and tahini are balanced. Add a little more of whichever one you need. Don't succumb to the temptation to add a lot more salt, since the olives have a lot. 

4. Drain the olives well and chop them a teeny bit. Add them to the food processor and blend until they are large black flecks of olive throughout. Don't process any longer, or you'll have purple hummus! It doesn't look as cool as it sounds. 

5. Scoop into a bowl and top with a few whole olives. Enjoy with an array of beautiful fresh or blanched veggies. 

Peach Breakfast Ricotta

The stone fruits are in! White peaches are just the most heavenly part of summer for me. Of course, you can use yellow peaches, nectarines, apricots, strawberries...whatever tickles your fancy. Yellow peaches are a little more acidic, so they have a stronger flavor that you may prefer. This is kind of a modern version of the classic canned peaches with cottage cheese, inspired by a recipe in Ina Garten's Make Ahead cookbook. It's AH-friendly, phase 2 if you use the honey and phase 1 if you skip it. It's a little higher than 50% on the fat, though, so you might have an egg white on the side to balance it out if you like.
Ingredients: (for one serving)

  • 1 c whole milk ricotta (store bought is fine or you can make your own)
  • 1 medium to large white peach
  • 2 Tbsp slivered almonds
  • tiny pinch cinnamon
  • tiny pinch nutmeg
  • 1 tsp honey (optional)
  • lemon zest (about 1/2 tsp)
  1. Toast the slivered almonds in a pan on the stove over medium heat, about 2-5 minutes depending on your pan. You can do this in the oven, but I find it better to do on the stove where you can keep an eye on them. They're done when most are golden brown. 
  2. Dice the peach into small pieces. Peel it if you prefer, but I like the skin and I'm too lazy to peel. 
  3. Stir the cinnamon, nutmeg, and lemon zest into the ricotta and put in a bowl. 
  4. Put the peaches and almonds over the top and drizzle with the honey if using. Sprinkle with a tiny bit more cinnamon if you like. 
  5. Enjoy!!