Friday, April 05, 2013

Boiled Peanut Hummus

I love hummus, and I’ve been making some variations lately. There was a lovely white bean hummus from Orangette, which I ended up not sharing because hummus isn’t always naturally photogenic (see below; I’d have to style it with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of paprika or sumac to make it look good).

More recently, though, I made this boiled peanut hummus from Bon Appétit. This might seem strange, until you remember that a) boiled peanuts are pretty common in the Southern United States, and b) peanuts are actually legumes, like chickpeas, not nuts. (As a side note, I’ve always lumped together a whole bunch of “nuts” in the nut-free category in my tags. This is in part because I’m limited in how many letters total the tags on each post can have, and also because there’s a strong correlation between tree nut allergies and peanut allergies. Plus, many people don’t actually realize that almonds are from the stone fruit family and aren’t true nuts; cashews and Brazil nuts are actually seeds; etc. But people with nut allergies would have a reaction to these foods, so I just label them all nuts, Linnaeus be damned. That being said, despite how the FDA operates, I refuse to use the term nut for coconuts and nutmeg, which are definitely not major allergens.)

This hummus was surprisingly labor-intensive, as I spent the better part of an hour shelling and peeling boiled peanuts (I’m including a photo of the contents of one can). I used all the contents of two 15-oz. cans, which was a little more than the 1 cup called for, so I adjusted the other seasonings accordingly (I added mostly lemon juice, cumin and salt). While the hummus was very good, and I could tell it wasn’t made with the usual chickpeas or regular beans, it was so much work that unless I have a helper next time, I’ll probably just stick with pre-peeled legumes. Then again, upon tasting it, the Engineer exclaimed, “Ermagherd, this is awesome hummus!” So it might be worth keeping the recipe after all.

1 cup shelled, boiled peanuts (from about 2 cans)
2 Tbsp. tahini
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
¼ tsp. ground cumin
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper (I used Korean pepper)
1 small garlic clove
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
kosher salt
chips or pita, for serving

Put boiled peanuts, tahini, lemon juice, cumin, cayenne, and garlic in a food processor and pulse to combine. With processor running, slowly add oil. Continue puréeing peanut mixture, adding water 1 Tbsp. at a time, until the hummus is smooth. Season to taste with salt. Serve with chips or pita.

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