Friday, October 28, 2005

Pumpkin Hummus and Pita Chips

Having recently acquired some seasonal cookie cutters, it was not a big leap to decide to use them to cute something other than dough, although you might not suspect that if you've been paying attention this week. I layered some fresh pitas and pressed the butters through them to make lots of thin chips. There is no magic number here, simply make as many as you'd like. I, personally, like a lot. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet, syrap or brush lightly with vegetable oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper and paprika. Rubbing the pitas with a split garlic clove before hand is a good idea, if you want a little more flavor from your chips. Bake for 4-6 minutes at 400F, until browned and crisp at the edges.
But chips, as delightlyfull shaped as they may be, aren't very interesting without dip.
The moment I saw this Pumpkin Hummus in the new issue of Cooking Light, I went into the kitchen and made it. Lucky I already had all the ingredients on hand.
The dip has the familiar tahini and garlic taste of traditional hummus, but lacks the slight density of the usual chickpeas. It's light, flavorful and delicious. I omitted the extra teaspoon of olive oil called for in the recipe, since I felt that the tahini had the oil content well-covered. It makes a fairly large batch, but will store well for a few days in the fridge, if it lasts that long.

Pumpkin Hummus
2 tbsp tahini
2 tbsp (fresh) lemon juice (lime will work, too)
1 tsp ground cumin
3/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground red pepper
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree (scant 2 cups)
1 garlic clove, smashed

In a food processor, combine all ingredients and puree until very smooth. Add a bit of extra lemon juice if the mixture is too thick to blend thoroughly.
Makes about 2 cups.