Food White People Like
I first learnt about hummus in a post on Stuff White People Like - a satirical blog on North American culture. The writer dubbed hummus as one of the most appropriate food for any occasion, due to the absurd abundance of dietary concerns white people have (or make up.) Over the years living in the States, I have tried everything from the wide popular Sabra brand, to small batch hummus made by local Greek eateries. Hummus is a quintessential Middle Eastern dip made with cooked chickpeas blended with tahini, olive oil, garlic, lemon and salt. I recently read Yotam Ottelenghi’s Jerusalem and loved his anecdote on the ‘hummus war’ between two local hummusia, rivaling over who makes the most authentic version.
After an indulging weekend in Singapore, I finally found the motivation to be a little more health conscious. This resulted in a homemade hummus found in Joanne Chang’s second book Flour, Too. I tend to prefer a super smooth tahini-rich hummus, but Joanne’s chunkier version is dryer and more suitable for making sandwiches. It’s a rather simple recipe which involves a quick blitz of the ingredients in a food processor, flavoured with garlic, cumin and tahini, plus a lot of lemon juice to give a citrus tang.
Joanne tops her sandwich with tomatoes, carrots, sprouts and red onions which gives a beautiful colour palette, here I left out the red onions to avoid a post-lunch breath. I also used a thick cut hearth-baked raisin bread for the extra crunch and a slight sweetness to counterbalance the spices.
Lemony Hummus Sandwich
Makes 4 sandwiches (plus about 2 1/2 cups hummus), Adapted from Four, Too by Joanne Chang
For the sandwich:
8 slices good-quality white or wheat bread
4 cups loosely packed mesclun greens or other mild lettuce
1 English cucumber, thinly sliced crosswise
2 vine-ripened tomatoes, thinly sliced
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
2 medium carrots, peeled and shredded
/4 red onion, thinly sliced (I omitted)
For the hummus:
2- 15 oz can chickpeas, drained
6 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, more to taste
2 Tbs. tahini paste
2-3 medium garlic cloves, smashed
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- Make hummus. Drain and rinse the chickpeas under cold running water.
- Set aside about 3⁄4 cup of the chickpeas. In the food processor or blender, combine the remaining chickpeas with the olive oil, lemon juice, tahini paste, garlic, cumin, salt, and pepper and puree until smooth, stopping and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed to make sure the hummus is well blended and smooth. Transfer the hummus to a bowl and fold in the reserved chickpeas.
- Assemble sandwich. Lay the bread slices on a clean, dry counter, and spread each slice evenly with hummus, using about 1/4 cup per slice. Top four of the slices with the greens, dividing them evenly. Top the greens with cucumber slices, then with the tomatoes, and sprinkle with the salt. Top the tomatoes with equal amounts of alfalfa sprouts, shredded carrot, and onion slices. Close each sandwich with a second bread slice, hummus-side down, then cut in half and serve.