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Appetizers

Baba Ganouj

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Baba Ganouj is a traditional Middle Eastern appetizer made from eggplant, lemon, and tahini. A nice addition to this recipe is to cut up some cured black olives and blend or stir them into the puree.

  oil
1 medium eggplant
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup tahini (sesame paste)
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp liquid smoke 1.1
  black and cayenne pepper to taste
  extra virgin olive oil
  paprika
  pita bread

  1. Slice eggplant in half lengthwise; bake face-down on oiled baking sheet 350 for 30 minutes or until tender.
  2. Cool until comfortable to handle.
  3. Scoop out pulp, discarding skin.
  4. Place in food processor with garlic, lemon juice, tahini salt, black and cayenne pepper. Puree until smooth. /Drizzle extra virgin oil over spread just before serving, with dash of paprika on top.
  5. Serve with pita bread for dipping.


Hummus (among us)

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Hummus is our favorite all around schmear for putting on bread. 1.2 We particularly like to make a pita sandwich with some hummus and a filling like the Uruguayan bean salad (p.[*]), or the Millet and black bean salad (p.[*]).

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We also like to serve fresh spices and herbs with our hummus and pita. Small dishes with chopped herbs (basil, mint, cilantro) or spices (sumac, ground chilies) go well with this.

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We were making this recipe long before you could buy it at the grocery store. This used to be the hit of the party, but now there is store bought hummus at every potluck. This is far tastier and beats them all. Still, just make this for home because no one thinks hummus is special anymore.

4 cups cooked chickpeas
1/2 cup tahini (sesame paste)
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
juice of 3 lemons (+)
4 (+) cloves garlic, crushed
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground California chili (optional)
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/4 tsp paprika
  fresh black pepper
  garnish oil, cayenne, paprika
  pita bread

  1. Puree all ingredients (except garnish and pita) in food processor until smooth.
  2. Garnish with drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, and sprinkle of cayenne and paprika.
  3. Serve with pita bread as dip.

Edamame Hummus

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Edamame are fresh cooked soybeans, typically enjoyed with a little bit of salt. They're a very popular appetizer at Japanese restaurants. This is very similar to the traditional Mediterranean hummus, but still a touch different.

1 pound edamame peas
1/3 cup tahini (sesame paste)
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp freshly grated lemon zest
1 lemon, juiced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1 tbsp minced cilantro

  1. Puree all ingredients (except garnish) in food processor until smooth.
  2. Garnish with drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, and sprinkle of cayenne and paprika.
  3. Serve with bread, sweet potato chips, cucumbers, celery, olives.

Beet Hummus

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A very different interpretation of hummus. Natasha definitely did not approve of this one, I think it's because she feels like it's ruining perfectly good beets. I quite like it though as an occasional thing.

1/2 pound cubed cooked beets (about 3 medium sized)
2 Tbsp tahini sesame seed paste
1 Tbsp olive oil
5 Tbsp lemon juice
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp lemon zest
  Generous pinch of sea salt or Kosher salt
  Fresh ground pepper to taste

  1. Puree all ingredients in food processor until smooth.
  2. Garnish with sprinkle of cayenne and paprika.

Korean Spinach Salad

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This is a common appetizer at Korean restaurants. It is one of the many varieties of Kim Chi that might be put out on your table. Not all Kim Chi is highly spicy or pungent with fish sauce, though many/most varieties are. We like this with a meal or just as a snack by itself.

1 tbsp green onion, chopped
2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp dark sesame oil
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp salt
1 pound spinach, washed and stemmed

  1. Add spinach to boiling water. Boil 1 to 2 minutes.
  2. Drain spinach and rinse with cold running water until cold.
  3. Drain spinach well and pat dry with paper towels.
  4. Mix green onion through salt in small bowl.
  5. Combine spinach and dressing. Chill and serve cold.



Footnotes

... smoke1.1
Liquid smoke is quite literally wood smoke captured in water. It's a great way to add that smoky taste without firing up a grill.
... bread.1.2
Definition: (SHMEER) Thought to have come from the Yiddish word shmirn ("to smear or grease"), the word schmear is used in the culinary world to describe a dab of something like mayonnaise or cream cheese that's spread on a roll, bagel, etc. More recently, cream cheese is combined with flavorings such as onions, garlic and bell peppers to create a spread that's commercially packaged as a "schmear."

next up previous contents index
Next: Soups Up: The Buson Family Recipe Previous: Preface   Contents   Index
Dane Buson 2016-09-11