July 3, 2010
As Jill recently announced to the whole world in a blog post, we read the Declaration of Independence aloud on the Fourth of July. Geeky, I know, but we’re both so moved and inspired by our nation’s founding document—seriously, have you ever read it? It’s grand and angry and beautiful. They just don’t write ‘em like that anymore.
Of course, once you start reading the Declaration of Independence aloud on the Fourth of July, it’s not like you can quit. These rituals take on their own weight and significance; they transform into tradition. And me? I’m like that dude from Fiddler on the Roof. I love me some tradition.
So share away—what are your Fourth of July traditions? Or, for friends up north, Canada Day traditions?
GREEN LENTIL HUMMUS
barely adapted from Food & Wine
Admittedly, this play on hummus is not the most beautiful color in the whole wide world…but it tastes delicious, so try and look past that, would you? If you’re in a chickpea hummus rut, give this one a whirl—lentils are good for you!
3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 cup green lentils
1 bay leaf
1 cinnamon stick
3 garlic cloves*
¼ cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup fresh cilantro
1 tsp. ground cumin
juice of 1 lemon
salt to taste
cayenne pepper, for heat
sweet or smoked paprika, for garnish
Bring the stock and lentils to a boil with the bay leaf & cinnamon stick. Cover and simmer over low heat until the lentils are cooked through, about 45 minutes. Uncover and turn up the heat, to cook away the excess liquid, another 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat and let the lentils cool.
In a food processor or blender, combine the lentils, garlic, tahini, cilantro, cumin, lemon juice, & a pinch of cayenne (if using). Process until a paste begins to form, then drizzle in the olive oil slowly. Mix until smooth, then add salt and taste-test.
Serve the hummus with pita chips and/or vegetables, sprinkling paprika on top and drizzling with a little extra olive oil. Make a day ahead & keep in an airtight container in the fridge.
*I used garlic I had previously roasted and it added a wonderful flavor to the hummus.
A while back, the lovely Julie van Rosendaal of Dinner with Julie wrote a sweet blog post about an impromptu lemonade stand, including a recipe for this lemon syrup, promising that it made the perfect lemonade easily achievable. My thoughts immediately turned to the possibilities of a “grownup” lemonade-leave it to my devilish mind.
I used frozen strawberries as “ice cubes” because we keep a giant bag from Costco in the freezer, but feel free to sub in frozen raspberries or blueberries, or make your own ice cubes with mint leaves suspended inside, for a color & flavor twist.
for one serving, I used 2 T lemon syrup, topped with fizzy water, a shot of vodka, & a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
for a pitcher, I’d recommend 1 cup lemon syrup & 1 ½ cups vodka, fill to the top with fizzy water & the juice of 4 lemons.