Hot Weather Classics – Hummus & Sautéed Squash

Okay folks, that’s it; it’s officially too hot to cook here, though for some strange reason we persist. It’s too hot to take pictures too, or at least too hot to try very hard. I’m also not sure that hummus is blog-post worthy, but I’m putting it down, for my reference if for no other reason, as that was part of why this site got started in the first place.

I didn’t put much parsley in this hummus. I asked Chimp, “Do you want parsley in the hummus?” and he said, somewhat warily, “A little.”

Sensing his apprehension, I said, “When have I ever put an excessive amount of parsley in anything?” Before he could answer, I said, “Okay, always.”

The rest of this weekend dinner was whole-wheat pita, sautéed zucchini, yellow zucchini and zephyr squash. (It’s the half yellow-half green one in the foreground. It was the sweetest of the three.) The squash are great because you can do them fast and the burner doesn’t stay on long. After cooking, they’re sprinkled with a mixture of chopped parsley and minced garlic – simplicity itself, and delicious.

Okay, I need a glass of water, a cool compress and a horizontal surface now. Seriously, my CFS has been beating me down pretty badly the last few days.

Hummus

2 c. dry chickpeas, sorted, soaked for eight hours or overnight, and drained (or about 5 c. cooked chickpeas)
a little oil to cook the chickpeas with
salt to taste

1/2 – 1 c. chickpea cooking liquid
1/4 c. olive oil
4 T. tahini
juice of 1 1/2 – 2 lemons
1/2 c. parsley
8 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1/2 t. cayenne powder
salt and pepper to taste

Place the chickpeas and water to cover in a pressure cooker. Add a small amount of oil to keep the beans from foaming and salt to taste. Place the cover on and bring to pressure. Cook for eight minutes and allow the pressure to drop on its own. Drain the chickpeas, reserving the liquid.

Makes about 5 cups. (Freezes well.)

Place the chickpeas and remaining ingredients in the work bowl of a food processor. Buzz until smooth.

Sauteed Zucchini

About ten small squash, cut in half lengthwise
Olive oil for the pan
1/3 c. parsley, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste

Mix the parsley and garlic together in a small container.

In a large skillet, heat about 1/2 T. olive oil until very hot and shimmering. Lay several of the squash into the pan, cut side down. Do not overcrowd the pan. Allow the squash to cook undisturbed for two minutes. Turn them to the rounded side and cover the pan tightly. Cook for three minutes (the liquid from the squash will help it steam). Uncover and remove from the pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and the minced herb and garlic mixture. Repeat with the remaining squash, replenishing the oil as necessary.

Makes about four servings.

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