3 cups cooked chickpeas (best), or two cans of good quality chickpeas
Juice and zest (optional) of 1 lemon
2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
3/4 cup tahini
1/3-1/2 cup good olive oil
1 cup chopped flat parsley leaves
Warm bread for serving. Pita is classic. Toasted sourdough or skillet flatbreads are great too.
Heat up your chickpeas if they are not already warm. If you are using canned chickpeas drain* and rinse them, then heat them in minimal water along with salt, and optionally spices of your choice.
Add the garlic and half of the lemon zest to the lemon juice, let sit for 5-10 minutes, then strain out the solids. You can save these solids to add to rice or a stir fry later.
Add the strained juice to the tahini, mix well to combine, then add cold water until you form a smooth and runny sauce (it will seize up at some point, just add more water until it turns liquid again, it'll be about 1/2-3/4 cup).
You can plate on a platter or individual bowls, up to you. Add the sauce first, then the warm chickpeas, top with plenty of olive oil, parsley, spices to your tastes, optionally some lemon zest, and salt if you like.
*the liquid in the can can be used as a vegan substitute for egg whites
Variations & Ideas:
• Try varying the toppings and spices:
add diced avocado, jalapeño, cilantro leaf, Shabaziadd chopped cherry tomatoes, red onion, mint and parsley, D'voraadd grated salted radish, chopped toasted pistachios, parsley and/or dill, Anaadd pomegranate molasses, melted butter, toasted pine nuts, mint and parsley, ground Sajiraadd grated fresh turmeric, chopped Persian cucumber, sliced shallot, chopped arugula, Coquelicot
• In Japan there is a sesame paste called nerigoma (made from deeply toasted white or black sesame). Try making the sauce with nerigoma, white miso, and lemon (no garlic). Pour the sauce over toasted slices of buttered white bread (preferably Japanese). Top with warm chickpeas, sliced shiso leaf, taberu rayu if you like heat, and Shichimi or Yagenbori.
For a different twist on the above, mash ripe bananas on the bread, add the sauce and chickpeas, then top with honey, ricotta cheese, Mishmish and a bit of Espelette.
• I also like serving this over warm rice. Make some fluffy basmati rice with cumin and a bit of butter. Top with the sauce and chickpeas, then some spices fried in copious olive oil and butter (try a mix of cumin, mustard seed, and coriander), a drizzle of spiced yogurt (try Vadouvan or asafoetida), and fresh herbs.
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