The Ultimate Bar/Bat Mitzvah Celebration Book by Jayne Cohen and Lori Weinrott
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2 tablespoons olive oil

1 1/2 cups finely chopped onion

1 pound (about 2 cups) dried white beans such as cannellini or Great Northern, washed, picked over, and soaked overnight in cold water to cover by at least 6 inches, and drained, OR 3 15-ounce cans of cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

grated zest and juice of 1 1/2 lemons

1/2 cup chopped fresh mint

salt and freshly ground pepper

1/4 cup toasted sesame oil
    Coat the bottom of a 2-quart saucepan with the olive oil and place over medium heat. Add onions and cook until soft and translucent. If using uncooked beans, add them now, stirring to coat them with the oil. Cover with water by 2 inches, bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook for 1 hour, or until beans are soft, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Add water as needed to keep beans covered. Note: if using canned beans, add them to sauteed onions, and simmer gently for 10 minutes to mingle flavors.

    Drain the beans and, while still warm, place the beans and cooked onions, lemon zest, and lemon juice in a food processor. Add half of the mint and salt and pepper to taste. With processor running, drizzle sesame oil in a slow but steady stream, processing until mixture is smooth. Stir in the rest of the mint. Taste and adjust seasoning.

    Serving ideas: Garnish with some of the following: chopped scallions, cilantro, mint, lemon twists, toasted black and white sesame seeds. Serve with toasted pita chips or raw vegetables.

    Cook's Note: if the hummus has been refrigerated, you may need readjust the seasoning, and stir in more olive oil to recapture the soft consistency.

    Yield: 1 quart
The Ultimate Bar/Bat Mitzvah Celebration Book
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