Spiced Hummus with Preserved Lemons

Forget plain old hummus and spice things up a little!  You'll need to plan in advance, as the preserved lemons take a few weeks to become "preserved".

Instructions

Place the garbanzo beans, parsley, chives, preserved lemon rind, garlic, crushed red pepper flakes, extra virgin olive oil, tahini paste, preserved lemon juice, fresh lemon juice and water in a food processor and process until smooth, about 2 minutes. Taste and season with 2 teaspoons salt. Transfer the mixture to a serving plate. Garnish with ¼ cup chopped preserved lemon and capers and serve with pita.

Makes 3 cups

Preserved Lemons
8  (can use Meyer, Eureka or Lisbon) lemons, scrubbed
1/2 cup kosher salt
2 cinnamon sticks
4 bay leaves
Fresh lemon juice as needed
Make Preserved Lemons:
Cut each lemon into quarters from the top to within 1/2 inch of the bottom, taking care to leave the 4 pieces joined at the stem end. Sprinkle the insides of the lemon with some of the salt.

Place 1 tablespoon of salt on the bottom of a 1-quart canning jar and pack the lemons into the jar, adding more salt, the cinnamon sticks, and the bay leaves as you go. Push down on the lemons to release as much juice as possible. Add extra lemon juice almost to the top of the jar. Cover the jar tightly.

Let the lemons sit at room temperature for 1 month, turning the jar upside down periodically to distribute the salt and juices.

To use the lemons, remove from the brine and discard the pulp. Wash the peel and use. Some white crystals will form on the top of the lemons in the jar, which is normal, so do not discard the lemons. They can be stored at room temperature or refrigerated for up to 1 year.

Makes 1 quart

Ingredients

2 (15 1/2 oz) can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
½ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, loosely packed
¼ cup minced fresh chives
¼ cup preserved lemon rind, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons tahini paste
1 tablespoon preserved lemon juice (see below)
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
½ cup water
Kosher salt
¼ cup preserved lemon (see below), chopped for garnish
3 tablespoons capers, drained
Pita chips, toasted baguette or endive spears

Spiced Hummus with Preserved Lemons