Chickpea Dip with Toasted Cumin and Pomegranate

3:47 PM, Nov 19, 2008   |    comments
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1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 cloves garlic
Sea salt
2 lemons
2 cans chickpeas (15 ounces each)
1 pomegranate
1/4 cup (plus oil for drizzling) fruity extra-virgin olive oil
Baguette slices for serving


In a small, dry frying pan over medium heat, toast the cumin seeds, shaking the pan often, until fragrant, about
2 minutes. Pour onto a plate to cool.

In mortar, combine the garlic and a pinch of salt and crush to a paste with a pestle. Add the toasted cumin seeds and grind them together with the garlic. Grate enough zest from 1 lemon to measure 1/2 teaspoon, and then halve and juice both lemons. Drain the chickpeas, rinse under cold running water, and drain well again.

Score the pomegranate into quarters with a sharp knife and pull the fruit apart into sections. Place the sections in a bowl and add water to cover. Using your fingers, pry the seeds away from the membranes; the seeds will sink to the bottom of the bowl, while the membrane and skin will float to the top. Scoop out and discard the membrane and skin, and then drain the seeds and set aside.

In a food processor or blender, combine the chickpeas, garlic-cumin mixture, lemon zest, 4 tablespoons lemon juice, 1/4 cup olive oil, and 1/4 cup water. Process the mixture until very creamy, adding more water if needed to achieve the desired consistency. Season to taste with salt and lemon juice.

Scrape the dip onto a large plate. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with about 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds (reserve any remaining seeds for another use or for snacking). Serve with pita chips or baguette slices.

Recipe courtesy William-Sonoma "New Flavors for Appetizers"

Sacramento & Company

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