Annie Copps, Food Editor at Yankee Magazine, prepares a spring treat using fresh asparagus.
Yankee food editor Annie B. Copps greets spring with this recipe: Asparagus Hummus Served With Dukkah Spiced Pita Chips. Watch the video for tips on cooking asparagus and how to prepare the hummus and chips.
Hi, I’m Annie Copps, the Food Editor at Yankee Magazine, and welcome to my kitchen!
Spring has sprung here in New England, and when I think of spring I think of asparagus and peas and fiddleheads. And today, we’re going to make one of my favorite dishes with asparagus — it’s humus with a twist!
Now when you think of asparagus, I think that maybe you’re thinking about three different, four different, five different types of asparagus; there really are just two. When you’re in your market you’ll see these very thin ones. You’ll see white asparagus and you’ll also see these thick ones.
The thick and the thin are actually from the same plant but different parts of the plant. The white asparagus is grown — when it comes up in the soil every time it comes up a little bit, it pokes it’s head out — it gets covered with soil so the chlorophyll never gets a chance to develop.
So let’s make some asparagus humus. We start with a bunch of asparagus. I’m going to give them a rinse; these have been patted dry. Now the ends are very fibrous and woody and I like to trim them by just holding them in my hands and snapping it. The asparagus will tell you where it wants to be broken. Let’s do a few of these.
And once you have them all trimmed up line them up and cut them into about 2-inch pieces. So let’s cook this asparagus.
All righty – so into a pot of boiling salted water the asparagus goes. And we’re using salted water so that it: A) keeps these beautiful asparagus nice and bright green, and it’s going to add a little bit of flavor.
We let the asparagus cook for 4 minutes or so until it’s nice and tender. And from the jacuzzi into the ice bath it goes. What the ice bath does is it helps keep this beautiful verdant spring asparagus nice and green — it also stops the cooking so we don’t end up with mush.
All righty — into the food processor our drained and patted-dry asparagus. Two cloves of garlic (and you don’t really have to chop them up too much because they’re going to get buzzed in the food processor) but this garlic’s going to add some really lovely heat to this.
This zest – about a tablespoon of lemon (and I love this microplane). Then about 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice, and I gave this lemon a roll beforehand because that helps break up the membranes and you get more juice out.
Now I’m using my hand as the filter and I’m going to squeeze out the lemon juice. Then, oh, about a tablespoon of salt; some white pepper; 2 tablespoons of tahini (and tahini is sesame butter).
And then (1) 15-oz can of chickpeas; chickpeas are also called garbanzo beans. Just give these a good rinse so that they don’t taste of the tinny can.
I’m going to pop the lid onto our food processor here and just kind of pulse it. Add olive oil to this with the motor running — about a third of a cup, right in there. That’ll emulsify the oil and that should do it.
Oh, it’s beautiful! I’m going to get a little taste just to make sure. Oh, yeah.
Now I think this humus is so delicious you could just eat it with a spoon right out of the bowl. And I’ve been known to do that but it’s a little bit more lady-like and traditional to use pita chips. So we’re going to just take some pita bread — oh, get your oven on to 375.
And I like to stack ’em up – we’re going to make triangles out of these so stack them up. Cut it in half, stack again; cut that in half and then quarters.
Now there you’ve got your triangle and then you just peel it apart (how easy is that!) onto a baking tray. And we’re going to top this with Dukkah which is an Egyptian spice blend. Now I know that that sounds fancy but it’s really quite easy.
Little bit of olive oil on top so they toast up nice and crunchy. Pita chips are nice and oiled up; we’re just going to put a thin coating of the Dukkah spice blend on top, and then we’re going to pop it into the oven for about 10 minutes or until nice and golden brown.
All right, let’s get these still-warm pita chips together with our delicious asparagus humus. Arrange that nicely. Oh, I have to have a bite! Oh, that’s really good. Really, really good.
For this recipe, for the asparagus humus and the Dukkah spice pita chips, come visit us at YankeeMagazine.com, and thanks!