A variation on hummus, minus the tahini, this creamy dip from chef Randy Windham of Cafe monk gets an unexpected kick from a smoky Spanish paprika called pimentón. It's a wonderful hors d'oeuvre when served with bread that has been brushed with olive oil and seasoned with salt, pepper and pimentón before grilling. You can use canned chickpeas in place of the dried ones called for here, but the texture and flavor won't be quite as interesting.
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1/2 pound dried chickpeas, soaked overnight and drained
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
4 small garlic cloves, smashed
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon hot pimentón or other hot paprika
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil with lemon (see Note)
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
Grilled bread or pita, for serving
How to Make It
In a medium saucepan, cover the chickpeas with 3 inches of water and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over moderate heat until just tender, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Drain the chickpeas well and pat dry.
Meanwhile, in a small skillet, cook the cumin seeds over moderate heat, shaking the pan until they are lightly toasted, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a spice or coffee grinder and let cool, then grind to a fine powder.
In a food processor, combine the chickpeas with the garlic, lemon juice, cumin, pimentón and cayenne pepper and pulse until finely chopped. With the machine on, add the 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil and the lemon olive oil in a slow, steady stream and puree until the chickpea dip is very smooth. Season the dip with salt, then scrape it into a shallow bowl. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil, sprinkle with the cilantro and serve with grilled bread or pita.
The chickpea dip can be refrigerated overnight. Let return to room temperature, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with cilantro before serving.
Bottles of lemon-flavored extra-virgin olive oilmade by crushing olives with lemonsare available at specialty markets and some large supermarkets. Randy Windham favors Medi Terranea's Lemon Agrumato oil, which is imported by Manicaretti (888-952-4005 or www.manicaretti.com).
A fruity Sauvignon Blanc with fresh acidity will highlight the lemon and smoky paprika here. Try a light-bodied one with hints of tropical fruit from Australia or South Africa.
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