We spent this past weekend in Connecticut with my parents. It's always so relaxing being there with them. Getting out of the city for a weekend is a perfect way to slow down, rejuvenate, and break up our daily routine.
My parents are amazingly helpful with Avital which gives me a bit of time to indulge in my cooking sans munchkin hanging on my legs. It's so nice to all be together in the kitchen drinking some wine, the smells of cooking dinner wafting through the air, and Avi and the dogs playing at our feet.
On friday night my dad decided he wanted falafel, so we got to cooking a mini Middle Eastern feast. We made homemade roasted garlic hummus, fried falafel balls, roasted eggplant, and Mark Bittman's Israeli Couscous salad (which was unbelievably delicious with hints of cumin and cinnamon).
The key to a quicky Middle Eastern meal is deciding what to make from scratch and what to buy prepared or make out of the box (which I generally disagree with, but in the case of falafel I make the exception). Hummus is ALWAYS better homemade and it's super easy to make. You can add almost any spices or veggies or flavors you like, but I think a simple garlic hummus is the best (once in a while I throw in some roasted red peppers as well).
Here's how I do it:
In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade add the following:
2 Cans of Garbanzo Beans
2 Tablespoons of Tahini
The Juice of 1/2 Lemon
2 Tablespoons of Roasted Garlic (cut the top off a bulb of garlic, rub it with olive oil, roast it at 425 degrees for about 30-45 minutes, then squeeze out the garlic once it's soft and browned)
2 Teaspoons of Sea Salt (or more to taste)
Run the food processor until it starts to come together then start pouring olive oil through the spout as the food processor runs. Keep pouring the oil in a thin stream until you reach the consistency you like. I prefer a thicker, chunkier hummus, but many like it creamier. Your call. Sprinkle some smoked paprika on top along with adding some whole garbanzos and enjoy!