TWO-BEAN PUREE WITH MASTIHA AND SWEET ONIONS
THE BEST ONIONS FOR CARAMELIZATION All onions can be caramelized, but some do the job better. The sweeter the onion, the easier it will caramelize because it’s actually the sugars in the onion that turn brown. The best varieties are Vidalia, Walla Walla, Sweet Imperial, and Texas Sweet.
- 3 cups cooked drained chickpeas (good-quality, preferably organic, canned are fine)
- ½ cup extra-virgin Greek olive oil plus more, if needed
- ½ cup tahini preferably from unhulled sesame seeds
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1 scant tsp mastiha powder
- Sea salt to taste
- Juice of 1 lemon or 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- For Garnish
- 2 large sweet onions halved and sliced
- 2 Tbsp extra-virgin Greek olive oil
- 2 tsp petimezi grape molasses, optional
- 2 Tbsp sherry or balsamic vinegar
Drain and rinse the chickpeas. Place the chickpeas in the bowl of a food processor and puree to a mealy consistency. Add the garlic, cumin and mastiha powder and pulse on and off to combine. Add the tahini and process to a smooth paste, all the while drizzling in olive oil until the hummus achieves a creamy consistency. Balance the flavor with a little lemon juice or vinegar and season to taste with salt. If it is too dense, dilute it with a little water. Set it aside.
Caramelize the onions: Gently heat the olive oil in a large, heavy nonstick skillet and add the onions. Stir to coat in the oil, season with a pinch of salt and cook the onions for about 30 minutes on low heat until soft and amber in color. Stir the onions up every few minutes while they cook to prevent them from burning. About 5 minutes before removing from heat, add the petimezi and/or balsamic.
Spread the hummus into a bowl or platter and garnish with the onions.