They say good things come to those who wait and I guess it’s true. I’ve been thinking about making this spread since my friend, Kirsten, a wonderfully adventurous cook who blogs about her culinary exploits here, made something very similar to it at a lavish Moroccan-themed dinner party she hosted at her home a while back, when we all still lived in Berkeley.
But my son was born a few months later and everything kind of went to hell, what with adjusting to becoming a mom and the general sleeplessness of life with an infant, so it’s taken me a little while more than two years to get around to it… Nonetheless, I think it was worth the wait. (And I cannot say enough good things about sleep training — thank you Ferber!)
I was primarily inspired by Kirsten’s use of blood orange juice and honey — such interesting, delightful additions! It had never occurred to me before to make a hummus-y type spread sweet. Turns out she’s a genius ’cause it’s really good.
I also used lime juice, chipotle peppers, garlic, cumin, cilantro, salt and pepper. I chose chipotles over jalapeņos because they are milder and I like their smokey flavor (I also kinda fell in love with the La Morena label.)
The result is an addictive combination that is slightly spicy, slightly sweet, and deliciously savory. And super easy to make, too – I love posting a recipe that includes only one step in the directions (and not just because I am lazy, though I admit that I am.)
This spread goes well with toasted pita bread, olives, feta cheese, lamb, chicken or shrimp kabobs, pickled beets, tzatziki, chopped salad, and couscous. (And now I am drooling… it must be time for lunch!)
Next: the recipe
Spicy-Sweet Moroccan Chickpea Spread With Blood Orange
Serves 4-6 as an appetizer
* 1 can (1 1/2 cups) cooked chickpeas
* 1/2 cup citrus juice (you can use any kind but I used a mix of blood orange and lime juice – the blood orange will turn the spread a little pink but I think it looks nice)
* 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
* 2 cloves garlic, peeled
* 1-2 chipotle peppers (you can use more or less pepper depending on how spicy you like your food, and you can substitute a small jalapeņo for the chipotles, too – they’re spicier)
* 1/4 cup olive oil
* 1-2 teaspoons honey
* 1 teaspoon cumin
* Sea salt to taste
1. Place all the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and blend until smooth. Adjust for salt, honey, lime and spice. It’s as simple as that!
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