My mother loved to tell a story about her introduction to olives.
Her mother brought a jar of the things home from the grocery store. Little Janice asked what they were.
“Olives,” said her mother. “Try one and see whether you like it.”
Janice tried one. She wasn’t sure. So she tried another. She still wasn’t sure. She kept trying. After a few minutes she still wasn’t officially sure that she liked olives. But she had eaten the whole jar.
That’s more or less the way I felt about this hummus. As I’ve mentioned before in these pages, I LOVE asparagus. If it were in season year round, I believe I would eat it every day. Now that it is in season I work on new ways to try it every day.
The other day I looked at some hummus and looked at some asparagus spears and thought, “Let’s put these together.”
I tasted the resulting concoction. I wasn’t sure what I thought. It was a lovely green. (It would have been even prettier if I had saved some pieces of asparagus to decorate the top!) It didn’t taste quite as asparagus-y as I had expected, however.
So I sampled it again. Like my mother before me, I was soon very full and out of my test food.
In the end I decided I’d publish the recipe. If you want more asparagus flavor, add more asparagus, or cut back on the tahini and water.
If you’re like me, you’ll probably eat the whole thing as it is….
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut into small pieces (about 2 cups)
2 large cloves garlic
1 can (15.5 ounces) chickpeas, drained
1/4 cup sesame tahini
2 tablespoons water
lemon juice to taste (I used about 1-1/2 large lemons)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more oil as needed
1 teaspoon salt
Boil the asparagus pieces until just barely soft. Drain and rinse with cool water and/or ice. Set aside.
In a food processor puree the chickpeas and tahini briefly; then add the asparagus, water, and lemon juice and puree again.
Add the oil and salt and puree briefly. Taste to adjust seasonings; then refrigerate the mixture for at least an hour. Stir in a dab of additional oil just before serving.
Serve with pita chips. Makes about 2 cups.