party food

October 5, 2012 § 3 Comments

I just spent ten days in Colorado’s North Fork Valley on farms, vineyards and orchards. When I wasn’t out in the fields, I was in the kitchen cooking for a couple of farm dinners or baking bread at an outdoor wood-fired oven. It was a wonderful way to end the summer, feeling pretty healthy again, enjoying the outdoors and sharing good food and wine with my western slope friends. Cause to celebrate!

This iPhone photo doesn’t begin to show how beautiful parts of the drive back to Boulder was. Fall colors this year are earlier and more vibrant oddly due to this year’s drought.

This week’s FFwD recipe is hummus, the Middle Eastern rich garlicky lemony chickpea purée I tend to associate with a Greek luncheon plate, vegan sandwich spread or better yet, a party dip with vegetable crudité or pita crisps. Dorie Greenspan’s recipe provided the structure for my version using what was currently in the pantry and refrigerator, which did not include chickpeas or tahini. It was a delicious spread that we enjoyed as part of last night’s party ah, Mediterranean meal.

I had some beautiful heirloom beans called Snowcap. I pressure cooked them a few nights ago for some chili, but saved some for the hummus recipe. Give these beans plenty of time to cook, even under pressure; they get BIG.

Last night I reheated the beans as they still needed more cooking time. I toasted whole cumin seeds until fragrant and then ground them to add to the hummus. To the base mixture I added a handful of parsley from the garden, and some slow-roasted cherry tomatoes I had saved in olive oil from the refrigerator. Since I don’t keep tahini on hand, I used the last of a jar of homemade hazelnut butter.

Hummus takes center stage on a plate of fresh mozzarella with garden tomatoes and basil in a salad caprese. I had forgotten how tasty it can be singing of garlic, herbs and lemon, since many times store and café versions tend to be bland and dry.

There was a recipe for sweet and spicy cocktail nuts (December 2010) on the page opposite the hummus recipe in Around my French Table. They’re not too hot, so party animal Hana gets to enjoy a couple too.

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§ 3 Responses to party food

  • I love my hummus, but your spread is fabulous! Roasted tomatoes are just a great thing. How great is it that your feeling so healthy again?! It shows in your cooking Marilyn. Enjoy the weekend!

  • Mary Hirsch says:

    I envy your ten days in the backcountry, Marilyn. You must really be feeling well and filled with energy to do that. Your take on hummus was so creative and informative. Thank you. I am driving back to Aspen tomorrow (Saturday) and will be there six weeks, until just before Thanksgiving. I hope there is some leaf color left for me. I understand this has been a beautiful year. Anxious to get back to Colorado.

  • Cher says:

    I like your improvised version :-)
    We are in peak leaf season here – such a pretty time to live in the North!

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