I made a bunch of Greek-esque foods last week and it was all so good (I say -esque because maybe they're not super authentic!?). As always, I don't really cook with recipes per se, but I try to do my best to write down what I do. Keep tasting and adjusting seasonings throughout the cooking process! Starting with dried beans instead of canned is much cheaper!Hummus
1 lb dried chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans) (note, this will make 2 large batches of hummus!*)
8 cloves garlic, peeled
juice of 1-2 lemons
reserved chickpea cooking water
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 - 1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 - 1/2 cup tahini (or make your own by blending toasted sesame seeds)
Garnish for serving:
a few reserved whole chickpeas
cumin, paprika, or cayenne pepper
Rinse your chickpeas and pick over for any small rocks. Cook via your preferred method, I used my Instant Pot: 1 lb chickpeas, 4 cloves peeled garlic, 9 cups water, manual for 35 minutes with a 10 minutes natural pressure release. If you are boiling on stove you may want to first soak the chickpeas overnight.
This should make around 9 cups of cooked chickpeas. Add 4.5 cups of chickpeas to your Vitamix or other high speed blender (a food processor works ok, but not as creamy IMO), along with the lemon juice, 1 teaspoon Kosher salt, 2 cloves peeled garlic, 1/4 cup tahini, 1/4 cup olive oil, the cumin, and 1/2 cup of cooking liquid from the chickpeas. (you can also throw in the cooked garlic from the pot!) Blend this mixture and taste, adding more salt, tahini, cumin, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, or cooking liquid to get the taste and texture you like. Just add a little at a time to adjust flavors, and remember the garlic will seem stronger over time.
However, I do feel like before the mixture has cooled in the fridge, all the flavors seem stronger. Ie, the next day the hummus might not taste as flavorful to me as it did the day I made it, so I tend to slightly overseason.
To serve I like to dollop in a bowl and make a swirl on top for a splash of olive oil and any of the other garnishes above. Eat up with yummy veggies, crackers, and/or pita bread! It's also really good as a spread in a sandwich.
*Freeze the other 4.5ish cups of chickpeas along with 1 cup of the cooking liquid to make hummus another time!Tzatziki Sauce
1.5 cups plain Greek yogurt
1/2 English cucumber, first slice as thin as you can, then dice finely
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/4 t. black pepper
1/2 t. kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar or 1/2 package Splenda (optional)
juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon dried dill, or 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh
Mix everything together in a bowl (some recipes will have you blend in blender or processor, but I prefer to finely dice my cucumber and just mix by hand). Add more lemon juice, salt, pepper, garlic, or dill as needed. The garlic will seem MUCH stronger the next day, so don't go overboard unless you're a garlic fiend (I am). I added a half package of Splenda to mine to just take the slightest edge off the sour yogurt and lemon juice combo, it seemed to make the sauce a "rounder" flavor to me. Leave sweetener out if you like!
Serve along with hummus as a dip, use as a salad dressing or the spread on a sandwich.