Tahini. Lemon. Garlic. Za’atar. Cilantro. Labne. If I don’t have one of these in my kitchen, I get the culinary equivalent of writer’s block... Tahini, raw sesame paste, holds a special place in my heart though. It’s the most versatile ingredient you thought was a one-trick pony. Mix it with lemon and water to make the perfect dressing for any salad. Drizzle it on vanilla ice cream with honey and a touch of salt. Replace it in peanut butter chocolate chip cookies for the best cookie you will ever eat (find that recipe in my book, shameless plug).
Hummus is to the Middle East as rice is to the Far East. Kind of. But that sounds good, right? What I’m trying to say is that hummus can be the base for so many dishes. From the meat-lover to the vegan, I have made it my mission to have you make hummus from scratch at home. From dried, not canned, chickpeas.
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This Hummus with Roasted Cabbage recipe is how I’ll start drawing you in. Once you have the basic hummus recipe down, it’s easy to create something beautiful to sit on top of it. Here, I roast slices of red cabbage in a hot oven with olive oil and a drizzle of vinegar for punch. Some of the cabbage is crispy and the rest is beautifully soft and supple. Hummus just loves acid. When served in Israel, you’ll always get a side plate of pickled cabbage or cauliflower. I’ve put the two together and made it into a full dish—no pita needed (I can’t believe I just said that. Carbs for life.)—and because sumac has that tangy, citrus flavor profile, it seemed like the obvious choice for a garnish. I also really love making it rain spices from high above onto a finished dish. It’s how I know it’s complete.