Hal Peterson

Serve this Middle-Eastern chickpea and sesame spread as a dip with
torn pieces of hot pita bread or as a component of a cold lunch or
appetizer plate.

	4 cups garbanzos (chickpeas)	*
	1/2 cup tahini (sesame paste)	+
	1/3 cup warm water
	1/3 cup best-quality olive oil
	juice of 2 or 3 lemons
	4 or more garlic cloves
	1 1/2 teaspoons salt
	2 teaspoons ground cuminseed
	freshly ground black pepper,to taste

* About those chickpeas:  the original recipe calls for about 2 1/2
  cans of garbanzos, drained, but I prefer to start with them dried
  (because they taste better, and whatcha gonna do with the extra 1/2
  can anyway?).  Take about 1 3/4 cup of dried chickpeas and soak
  overnight (8 hrs) in LOTS of water.  Drain, then add 6 cups fresh
  water.  Bring to a boil for ten minutes, then simmer, covered, for
  90 minutes to two hours.  Drain.

+ I use raw tahini, but I've heard rumors that toasted tahini gives a
  darker, richer taste, and I'm going to try it some day.  If you
  can't find tahini at the grocery store, try a co-op.

1.  Combine chickpeas, tahini, warm water, olive oil, and juice of 1
    lemon in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade.
    Process until smooth and creamy, pausing once or twice to scrape
    down sides of the bowl with a spatula.

    Since our food processor melted down I've preprocessed the
    chickpeas with a potato masher and finished off the mixture with a
    hand-cranked food mill, and that works fine.  And is quieter.

2.  Add garlic, salt, cuminseed, and pepper to taste, and process to
    blend.  Taste and correct seasoning if necessary.  Add more lemon
    juice to taste.  Scrape into a storage container, cover, and
    refrigerate until ready to use.  We had one batch last a whole
    week before I finished it off, and it still tasted fresh.

Makes 1 quart.  Tastes great with picante salsa, too.

Note:  the primary source for this recipe is ``The Sliver Palate
Cookbook''.  The instructions for dried chickpeas are from ``Dried
Beans and Grains'' in the Time-Life series ``The Good Cook'' and from
``Laurel's Kitchen''.  That plus the results of my own experience.