My P.S. (Pretty Smart/hubby) and I discussed what to name this recipe. Asparagus Hummus was too simple. We came up with Hummagus, which made us laugh, then Asparammus, which was funny as well as a groaner. I suggested Asparagusummus, and we agreed we could wish people a Happy Asparagusummus.
I’ve mentioned before that I’m not much of a hummus fan. It’s too bland for me. A friend said I needed to experiment with different recipes and “make it my own”. I’m still trying to do that. I posted a spinach hummus recipe previously and it was ok after a few modifications. When I found an asparagus recipe recently I was ready to try again.
I love when my P.S. brings home asparagus. Every year when it comes into season in February and March, I’m surprised. We’re still buried under giant snowdrifts and have at least 3 months left of winter and somewhere they are growing these luscious green stalks. I’m jealous. But I immediately start digging out recipes.
Asparagus as a dip was interesting. It looked pretty simple and I even had the rest of the needed ingredients including two lemons I pulled out of the bottom of the fridge fruit drawer. Note to self: lots of limes still in there, find a recipe!
I snapped the bottoms off of the asparagus, that’s always my favorite part. The woody ends snap right off and what remains is crispy green perfection. I feel just a tish guilty that I’m throwing away those ends but I’ve tried to use them and they are quite bitter as well as being tough.
I cut the asparagus into 1” pieces and put on a saucepan of salted water and brought it to boiling. I put the asparagus into the water and timed it for 4 minutes.
The next step is to put it into iced water, but up North here this time of year all you need to do is run the water for a few minutes and the water is incredibly cold straight out of the faucet. I filled the sink with cold water and when the timer went off I strained the asparagus into a strainer, then poured it into the cold water. I let the asparagus chill for a few minutes, then put it in a strainer again before putting it into my food processor.
Next I played with the can of chick peas. I like my hummus to be creamy and removing as many of the skins from the chick peas makes it smoother. I empty the can into a large bowl and fill it with cold water. I use my hand and rub the peas between my fingers to loosen the skins. They float around and I empty the water into my sink and refill the bowl. I do this over and over until I’ve removed most of the opaque skins and have just clean yellow chick peas left.
I added the peas to the food processor and used my zester on both of the lemons, zesting it right into the food processor. I cut the lemons in half afterwards and squeezed 2 tablespoons of juice and put it into the processor.
I used a teaspoon of garlic powder instead of garlic cloves, then measured in the tahini and olive oil. I put in a teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon of white pepper.
I turned on the processor and let it cream the hummus. Several times I stopped it and scraped down the sides. I taste tested and added more salt then pulsed it another minute to mix. I scooped the dip into a container and refrigerated it with a lid for a few hours.
We had the dip as an appetizer before dinner with Ritz crackers. Bad planning, for once those were the only crackers in our cupboard. But the dip was delicious, even on a Ritz. It was a lighter dip with the green asparagus and lemon. I really liked it and think it would also be good as a spread on sandwiches. I’m always looking for a mayo substitute and this would be an excellent spread.
2 cups fresh asparagus; cut into 1” pieces
15-1/2-ounce can chickpeas (garbanzo beans); drained and well rinsed (skins removed if desired)
2 medium cloves garlic; minced (I used 1 teaspoon garlic powder)
2 tablespoons tahini (sesame paste)
Zest of 2 lemons
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground white pepper
Prepare an ice-water bath (or very cold water) and set aside. In a large saucepan, bring 4 cups salted water to a boil. Add asparagus and return water to boil. Cook about 4 minutes or until asparagus is cooked through and bright green. Drain asparagus and refresh in ice-water bath. After 5 minutes, drain and set aside.
In a food processor, combine chickpeas, garlic, and tahini, zest, juice, and asparagus, and process until smooth. With machine running, pour in olive oil and process until well combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with spiced pita chips or crackers.
Makes about 3 cups
Adapted from Yankee Magazine