Is it still winter?I really thought that by the time I got back to Canada, we’d be enjoying the last few days of blustery winds and sub-zero temperatures. I know it was a mild winter and everyone is so grateful about the lack of school-shutting blizzards and hibernation-inducing cold alerts.But even in this more temperate version, winter still hits me where it hurts the most – in the fresh produce department. Instead of opening my fridge to admire the brilliant rainbow of phytochemicals I’m turning to my pantry for beans and onions to fill the void.
Winter’s palate is definitely richer in brown and beige, but what it lacks in colour it makes up for in flavour. During the early months of the year, people are more likely to invest the time in roasting, simmering and stewing to develop layers of flavour (and to warm up their apartments in the process). This week I found myself with more onions than usual and decided to put them to good use in creating a simple hummus recipe, perfect for pairing with flax crackers, steamed broccoli, a good movie and a warm blanket.
Caramelized Onion Hummus
2 TBSP olive oil or earth balance
2 large onions, thinly sliced1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1 TBSP maple syrup
1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas
1 TBSP lemon juice
1 tsp dried thyme
1/4 cup water
In a large pot over medium-low heat, add the olive oil/earth balance, wait a minute and then add the onions and garlic. Stir the onions often as they start to turn translucent. Continue stirring often until the onions reduce in volume, become soft in texture and reach a golden, brown colour (approximately 20 minutes). Add the salt and the maple syrup and allow to cook for an additional minute for all the flavours to combine.
In a food processor combine the chickpeas, lemon juice, dried thyme and water. Add the caramelized onions and blend until a smooth, thick texture is achieved. Add additional water if necessary to reach your desired consistency.
I wouldn’t recommend this hummus as first-date food. The onions and garlic are comforting combination but not the best for get-to-know-you breath.
If you still have room for a treat after your big bowl of hummus, I suggest you play with the raw thumbprint recipe I put up last Sunday. It is so versatile.
I was working on a photography assignment and needed a subject so I quickly pulled together a chocolate almond butter version of the recipe.
I swapped out the lemon juice for cacao nibs and add a spoonful of sweetened chocolate almond butter in the centre of each cookie.
I know the brown/beige combination is decidedly winter but this week I’ve decided to embrace it.
While winter’s here we might as well enjoy cardigans, caramelized onions and chocolate. Soon we’ll be back in flipflops, eating strawberries and soaking up the sunshine.