Can you smell the tomatoes yet?? The season is so close. This is why I’m posting this now. So when those first tomatoes hit the market, you’ll know exactly what you need to do with them: Simply dress them with olive oil, salt, and za’atar to top a super creamy homemade hummus. It’s. Just. Perfect. This combination is classic. I’m not claiming to have re-invented the wheel with this one. I just want you to make it. You can thank me later. This works with any kind of tomato you can find, large or small. Cut the tomato into bite sized pieces and you’re good to go! Use whatever is freshest and looks (and smells) the best at the market!! My za’atar has sesame seeds mixed into it. If you’re doesn’t, you can add it in or not. It doesn’t change much of the flavor notes here. It just looks pretty =)
In tomato plant news: Big Boy is doing just fine. He’s huge. I had to add another large stick to stabilize this guy. We have one pretty big tomato (too early to pick) and 9 small bambinos. Can’t wait to eats them. We harvested our first (and only) shishito pepper. I fried it up in Saturday’s breakfast skillet I made with mushrooms and way too much salami. Tas and I shared the pepper which wasn’t one of the spicy ones. Kind of anti-climactic. I’m hoping for more of a moment with the tomatoes.
ZA’ATAR TOMATOES WITH HUMMUS
MAKES 4 SERVINGS
1 cup dried chickpeas
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/3 cup sesame paste (tahini)
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp salt
the freshest tomatoes you can find, sliced into bite size pieces
lots of olive oil
lots of za’atar
Maldon Salt, or other flaky sea salt
more olive oil
fluffy pita, warm is best
FOR THE HUMMUS: Place the dried chickpeas in a large glass or plastic bowl and cover with at least 6 cups of cool water. Leave on the counter top for at least 12 hours or over night.
Drain and place the soaked chickpeas in a large stock pot and cover with 8-10 cups of water. There should be at least 3-inches of water above the chickpeas. Add the baking soda and bring to a boil over high heat. Once it boils, it will begin to foam. You want to skim away all that foam. That’s “dirty water”. Boil for 2 minutes while skimming. Turn the heat down to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, for 35-45 minutes. You should be able to mash the chickpeas with your fingers when they’re ready. Turn the heat off and set aside to cool to room temperature.
Once cooled, drain the chickpeas SAVING AT LEAST A HALF CUP OF COOKING LIQUID! Place the chickpeas in a food processor. Process until a thick paste forms, about a minute or two. Add the sesame paste, lemon juice, and salt and process again on high. If the hummus is too thick, slowly stream in a little of the chickpea cooking liquid to loosen it up. You may not need to add any liquid at all. It should be smooth with the texture of soft served ice cream. Taste for seasoning and adjust with salt and lemon juice.
FOR THE ZA’ATAR TOMATOES & FINISHING: Toss the tomatoes with a nice amount of olive oil, za’atar, and sea salt until nicely coated. Plate the hummus and make a well in the middle for the tomatoes to sit in. Dish in the tomatoes. Drizzle the hummus with more olive oil and garnish with za’atar and sea salt. Enjoy with a warm, fluffy pita!