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Author Notes: This is my current favorite flavor of hummus! I've always adored anise flavors so this has been in the works for a while. I realize that fennel is a divisive vegetable but the roasting process here brings out its natural sweetness and the hit of fresh lemon and garlic in the end mellow it out further, leaving you with something completely sweet, creamy, and delicious. —Maja Lukic - Veggies & Gin
Makes 4 cups
cup dried chickpeas (or two cans)
cups Roasted Fennel (see below for instructions)
garlic cloves, minced
tablespoons lemon juice
tablespoons cold water
large fennel bulbs
teaspoons dried oregano
olive oil, sea salt, and freshly ground black pepper
- If using dried chickpeas, place the chickpeas in a bowl the night before and cover them with plenty of cold water. Allow them to soak on the counter overnight. The next day, simply drain and rinse well.
- To cook the chickpeas, add 6 cups of water, bring to a boil, and then let the chickpeas simmer for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until very tender. When they’re cooked, drain, and peel the chickpeas, if you wish. Alternatively, to cook the chickpeas per Yotam Ottolenghi’s (genius) method found in the very excellent "Jerusalem," add the drained chickpeas and 1 teaspoon of baking soda to a medium saucepan. Cook over high heat for about three minutes, stirring constantly. Add about 6 cups of water and bring to a boil. Cook, skimming off any foam or skins that float to the surface. This should take anywhere from 20 to 40 minutes, depending on the type and freshness of your chickpeas. Once done, they should be very tender and almost but not quite mushy. When cooked like this, the chickpeas are impossible to peel because they’re so tender, so I usually do not bother peeling them.
- To prepare the roasted fennel: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Trim the stalks and greens from the fennel bulbs. Save the green fronds for garnish. If the outer thick leaves of the bulbs are fibrous and tough, remove them and set them aside for another use (soup?). Slice each bulb in half lengthwise and cut each half crosswise into 1/2? thick slices. If the stalks are not too fibrous, slice the stalks into 1/2? thick coins and add them to the mix. Spread the sliced fennel out on a large baking sheet in a single layer and add just enough olive oil so that it doesn’t stick to the baking sheet. Sprinkle with the dried oregano and a little bit of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Roast for about 20 minutes or until the fennel is completely soft and lightly browned. Set aside to cool and try not to devour it.
- Once the fennel and chickpeas have cooled, place the vegetables in a food processor and process until you have a smooth paste. Add the tahini, garlic, and lemon juice. With the machine running, add water, one tablespoon at a time, until the mixture becomes creamy and smooth. Taste for seasoning, adding more salt or lemon juice, if needed.
- Transfer the hummus to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let it rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Store in the fridge until you are ready to serve. Make sure to take the hummus out of the fridge at least 30 minutes before serving. For optional garnish, drizzle with olive oil, and scatter reserved fennel fronds and dried fennel seeds on top.
- This makes a lot of hummus but hummus freezes very well. Throw 1-cup or 1/2-cup portions into small freezer bags or wrap up in little wax paper or Press’n'Seal packages. Left in the fridge, though, it should be consumed within a few days.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Hors d'Oeuvre