Chickpea Dip with Toasted Cumin and Pomegranate

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Pomegranate seeds lend an extra layer of tart-sweet flavor as well as an appealing crunch to this creamy dip, a modern twist on hummus. The unique taste of cumin seeds is released when they are toasted, delivering a pleasant smokiness to the dish.

1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 cloves garlic
Sea salt
2 lemons
2 cans (15 oz) chickpeas
1 pomegranate
1/4 cup extra virgin olive-oil
Plus extra for drizzling

In a small dry frying pan over medium heat, toast the cumin seeds, shaking the pan often until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Pour onto a plate to cool.

Combine garlic and a pinch of salt in a mortar and pestle, crush to a paste. Add toasted cumin seeds and grind together with the garlic. Grate the zest of 1 lemon, measure 1/2 teaspoon and then halve and juice both lemons.

Drain the chickpeas, rinse under cold running water in a colander and drain well again.

Take seeds from one pomegranate and store in a bowl.

In a food processor (or blender) combine chickpeas, garlic-cumin mixture, lemon zest, 4 tablespoons lemon juice, 1/4 cup olive oil and 1/4 cup water. Process the mixture until very creamy, adding more water if needed to achieve the desired consistency. Season to taste with salt and lemon juice.

Scrape the dip onto a large serving plate or bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with about 1/2 cup of pomegranate seeds.

Serve with warm pita, pita chips, or warm baguette cut into pieces.


From Williams-Sonoma New Flavors for Appetizers by Amy Sherman


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