For Thanksgiving, my parents, brother, grandmother, mother-in-law and father-in-law came over to our place; there were eight of us. For some reason I was majorly stressing about not having enough food, so I guess you can say I got prepared to feed an army. I bought artichoke hearts, two kinds of olives, two kinds of pickles, two kinds of radishes, carrots, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, beets, four kinds of carrots (two of which I could eat), two kinds of corn chips, two kinds of salsa, three kinds of sparkling cider, two kinds of roasted nuts, two kinds of dried figs, creamy onion dip and that’s not all.

I made hummus with Spanish hot paprika, red bell pepper hummus with Californian sweet paprika, baba ghanouj with white and black sesame seeds and purple sumac, and cashew basil pesto. My parents also made guacamole with IMO sour cream. My dad brined a turkey for us, and my in-laws made a roast ham. I was going to make two vegetarian gravies, but during family team building exercise of preparing chestnuts, we decided to only make one. Thankfully I was able to combine the recipes. We successfully sauteed the massive amount (but not all) of green beans and made a tasty rice outside-the-bird stuffing. I was going to make a pumpkin pie and an apple-quince pie from scratch, but as you may have guessed, I did not have time. It’s a good thing I didn’t make them though, since my in-laws brought three pies and ice cream.

Phew! That’s a ton of food! It was quite an exciting day here (so sorry for the blurry pictures). I still have a significant number of leftovers that I have made quite a dent in by eating and feeding to other people. There were many many recipes involved over the several days before, during and after the festivities. I am so grateful to my family. All of us participated in putting together our feast, even Grandma. To cut down on post length, I’m splitting up the Thanksgiving recipe line up into a few different posts. Right now, I’ll give you the from-scratch hummus recipes. Thankfully they are pretty easy and quick.

After reading Judy Kingsbury’s article, “Beans Without Gas” over at Savvy Vegetarian, I decided to learn how to properly prepare and cook beans to avoid possible digestive issues, especially since my digestive system is so sensitive. That means no more canned beans, so I decided to make my hummus this time from scratch. Check out the article. It has a very helpful soaking and cooking chart. The recipes I used are adaptations to the hummus recipe from “The Best Recipes in the World”, by Mark Bittman on Epicurious.

8 or more

1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Lemon, juice of
2 tsp or 2 Cloves Garlic, peeled
Pinch Sea Salt, to taste
1/4 tsp Black Peppercorns, ground to taste, optional
2 cups Garbanzo Beans, soaked, rinsed, cooked
1/2 cup Tahini (Sesame Seed) Paste
1/4 cup Parsley, freshly chopped garnish
1 tablespoon Spanish Hot Paprika, more for garnish
White or Black Sesame Seeds, optional garnish

Sort the beans and discard any bean bits and pebbles. Rinse your beans. Cover them in twice as much water, since the beans will double in size. Soak the beans in just water overnight. (Adding salt prevents the fibers from softening. I think I soaked mine a day and an half to be on the safe side.) Cook the beans in just water between 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours or until the beans are soft.

In food processor, combine the oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper. Mix in the beans and then the tahini. Adjust your salt and pepper levels as you like. Remember you are adding paprika, too. Spoon out half of the mixture. Mix in the paprika. Set this mixture aside.

Evenly spread out the set-aside hummus in a bowl from the center. Place the parsley in the middle. Sprinkle the hummus with paprika around the edge. If want, sprinkle sesame seeds around the parsley.

Red Bell Pepper Hummus
Serves 4 or more

1/2 Hummus Recipe (above)
1 Red Bell Pepper, cored, seeded, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon Californian Sweet Paprika, more for garnish
Parsley, freshly chopped
White or Black Sesame Seeds, optional garnish

With half of the plain hummus batch still in the food processor, mix in the bell pepper and paprika. This batch will be thinner than the first batch, but that’s okay. Spread the hummus evenly in a serving bowl. Garnish as you did with the other bowl of hummus, this time with the sweet paprika.

There are several different types of paprika available: Californian, Spanish, Hungarian and mixes. Each region’s paprika comes in hot and sweet. Make sure you taste the different varieties before buying them. They are all quite distinct in flavor. I tasted all of the varieties in the paprika section at the local downtown herb and spice store, Savory Spice Shop, before I made up my mind on which ones to use for the hummus.