Sunday, January 10, 2010

Green Hummus

Those who have visited the prepared foods section of a WholeFoods may have noticed a bright green hummus sitting coyly in the corner of a fridge case or salad bar. This yummy hummus (yummus?) contains large quantities of parsley and scallions, and it is pretty easy to reproduce with success.

Today, however, I present a different kind of green hummus, born, as usual, out of necessity/chance/convenience. Certain circumstances meant that I wound up with a TON of cooked mung beans in my fridge. I also recently purchased a new, small, steel frying pan, for which this receipe was a perfect maiden voyage (I'm slowly phasing out all my scary teflon-coated pans).

FYI: The mung bean is a small, lovely-green bean (about the shape and size of an adzuki bean) which appears most commonly in South and East Asian cuisines.

Frying the garlic gives it a toastier, less intimidating flavor (I usually don't bother, but it's probably worth it). The chopped cilantro not only adds deliciousness, but also amps up the green shade of the mung beans from puke to a lovely pistachio color. My guess is that due to the fresh greens, this hummus won't keep as long as your typical homemade hummus.

Green Mung Bean Hummus

2 c mung beans, cooked until very soft
2-3 cloves garlic, sliced
1-2 TB olive oil
1 c fresh cilantro, chopped (plus some for garnish)
1/4 c tahini (optional but will give a creamier taste and texture)
ample cumin, cayenne, and salt to taste

1. In a small frying pan, saute garlic in olive oil over low heat until browned and fragrant. Remove from heat and allow to cool while you are chopping the cilantro.
2. In a blender or food processor, blend all the ingredients (including oil and garlic). Adjust seasonings to taste. Garnish with additional cilantro, cumin, cayenne, and/or olive oil. Makes 2+ cups.

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