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appetizers

Jerusalem Hummus

The appeal of this dish is obvious, with the hot beef fat exerting a “bad” influence on the normally wholesome hummus.

Michael Solomonov

"This typically refers to hummus that is garnished with hot, spiced ground beef, often with the addition of pine nuts."

Servings: 4

Prep: 24 hours

Total: 2 hours

Ingredients

for the tehina sauce:

1 head garlic

3/4 cup lemon juice (from 3 lemons)

1 1/2 teaspooons kosher salt

2 generous cups tehina

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

for the hummus tehina:

1 cup dried chickpeas

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 1/2 cups tehina sauce, plus a bit more for the topping

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

paprika

chopped fresh parsley

olive oil, for drizzling

for the Jerusalem topping:

1 tablespoon canola oil

1 cup chopped onion

1 pound ground beef

2 garlic cloves, slivered

2 tablespoons pine nuts

1/2 teaspoon baharat (optional)

salt, to taste

freshly chopped parsley

Directions

Editor's Note: "Jerusalem Hummus" from Zahav: A World of Israeli Cooking. Copyright © 2015 by Michael Solomonov and Steven Cook. Used by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.

1. First, make the tehina sauce. Break up the head of garlic with your hands, letting the unpeeled cloves fall into a blender. Add the lemon juice and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Blend on high for a few seconds until you have a course puree. Let the mixture stand for 10 minutes to let the garlic mellow.

2. Pour the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer set over a large mixing bowl, pressing on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard the solids. Add the tehina to the strained lemon juice in the bowl, along with the cumin and 1 teaspoon of the salt.

3. Whisk the mixture together until smooth (or use a food processor), adding ice water, a few tablespoons at a time, to thin it out. The sauce will lighten in color as you whisk. When the tehina seizes up or tightens, keep adding ice water, bit by bit (about 1 1/2 cups in total), whisking energetically until you have a perfectly smooth, creamy, thick sauce.

4. Taste and add up to 1 1/2 teaspoons more salt and cumin if you like. If you're not using the sauce immediately, whisk in a few tablespoons of ice water to loosen it before refrigerating. The tehina sauce will keep a week refrigerated, or it can be frozen for up to a month.

5. Next, make the hummus. Place the chickpeas in a large bowl with 1 teaspoon of the baking soda and cover with water. (The chickpeas will double in volume, so use more water than you think you need. Soak the chickpeas overnight at room temperature. The next day, drain the chickpeas and rinse under cold water.

6. Place the chickpeas in a large pot with the remaining 1 teaspoon baking soda and add cold water to cover by at least 4 inches. Bring the chickpeas to a boil over high heat, skimming off any scum that rises to the surface. Lower the heat to medium, cover the pot, and continue to simmer for about 1 hour, until the chickpeas are completely tender. Then simmer them a little more. (The secret to creamy hummus is overcooked chickpeas; don't worry if they are mushy and falling apart a little.) Drain.

7. Combine the chickpeas, tehina sauce, salt, and cumin in a food processor. Puree the hummus for several minutes, until it is smooth and uber-creamy. Then puree it some more!

8. Now, make the Jerusalem topping. Heat 1 tablespoon canola oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 cup chopped onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until it begins to soften, 5 to 8 minutes.

9. Add 1 pound ground beef, 2 slivered garlic cloves, and 2 tablespoons pine nuts. Cook, stirring, until the beef is browned, about 10 minutes. Add ½ teaspoon baharat and season with salt. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley. Serve over Hummus Tehina.