I've been thinking about making this spread ever since my friend, Kirsten, who is an excellent and adventurous cook, made something very similar to it at a lavish Moroccan-themed dinner party she hosted a while back, when we all lived in Berkeley.
But my son was born a few months later and everything kind of went to hell what with adjusting to motherhood and the resulting horrendous sleep deprivation so it's taken me
a little while more than two years to get around to it... Nonetheless, I think it was worth the wait. (And I cannot say enough good things about sleep training -- thank you, Dr. Ferber!)
I was primarily inspired by Kirsten's use of blood orange juice and chipotles -- such interesting, delightful additions! It had never occurred to me before to make a hummus-y type spread sweet. Turns out she's a genius 'cause it's really good.
I also used lime juice, chipotle peppers, garlic, cumin, cilantro, salt and pepper. I chose chipotles over jalapeños because I like their smoky flavor and relatively mild spice level and because I love the La Morena label.
The result is an addictive combination that is slightly spicy, slightly sweet, and deliciously savory. And super easy to make, too - I love posting a recipe that includes only one step in the directions (and not just because I am lazy, though I admit that I am.)
This spread goes well with toasted pita bread, olives, feta cheese, lamb, chicken or shrimp kabobs, pickled beets, tzatziki, chopped salad, and couscous. (And now I am drooling...)
Spicy-Sweet Moroccan Chickpea Spread With Blood Orange
Serves 4-6 as an appetizer
* 1 can (1 ½ cups) cooked chickpeas
* ½ cup citrus juice (you can use any kind but I used a mix of blood orange and lime juice - the blood orange will turn the spread a little pink but I think it looks nice)
* ½ cup cilantro, chopped
* 2 cloves garlic, peeled
* 1-2 chipotle peppers (you can use more or less pepper depending on how spicy you like your food, and you can substitute a small jalapeño for the chipotles, too - they're spicier)
* 1/4 cup olive oil
* 1-2 teaspoons honey or maple syrup
* 1 teaspoon cumin
* Sea salt to taste
1. Place all the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and blend until smooth. Adjust for salt, honey, lime and spice. It's as simple as that!
You might also like:
- Hummous With Caramelized Onions & Garlic Topped With Golden Beets, Pinenuts & Greek Yogurt
- Warm, Spiced Chickpea & Arugula Salad
- Cumin-Scented Quinoa With Grated Beets Topped With Quick Curried Chickpeas