Lentils and chickpeas are a match made in heaven, at least in my book. I was picturing this lentil and chickpea salad with a spicy dressing and pickled onions–a riff on a recipe I’d made last fall for Christopher’s birthday–and was inspired by the tahini dressing I found in [this version from Smitten Kitchen. I love this served beside a butter lettuce salad tossed with Go-To Vinaigrette and topped with crumbled goat cheese!
I waffled about whether to name this “hummus” or “chickpea dip,” but ultimately thought it veered far enough from tradition — thanks to the addition of spinach and smoked paprika — to go with the latter. (And my choice should satisfy purists like Cheryl Sternman Rule — check out her tongue-in-cheek thoughts on the matter the hummus debate here.) It is, in any case, delicious. If you’ve ever had any doubt as to the strength of pounded garlic, this little dish will set you straight.
3 cloves garlic, peeled and pounded to a paste in a mortar and pestle with a pinch of salt
2 cups cooked chickpeas
12 ounces frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons tahini
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground fennel
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Combine garlic, chickpeas, spinach, lemon juice and tahini in a food processor, and blend until smooth.
Warm olive oil in a small pan over medium-low heat and add spices. Stir and cook for 1-2 minutes, until just fragrant. Scrape oil and spices into bowl of food processor, add a pinch of salt and process until well blended.