Lately I feel as though I've left my brain someplace else. Some place between daydreams and reality. It's making me a little bit insane. I used to always be on time, if not a little early everywhere I went. I could remember things to the finest of detail and recite back to anyone who would listen. But recently my head has become scattered. I'll forget to email or call people back. I swerve through traffic to make an exit I've taken a million times; thank you Scott for the last second reminder of where we were headed. Possibly my life is just busier or I need to slow down a little.
Even as I set about the task of making this simple edamame spread, I left my head someplace else. I had everything ready to go on the counter as I waited for the soybeans to boil. When they were done I placed all the ingredients into the food processor, gave it a whirl and I was set, or so I thought. It tasted really good, but it was lacking something, a smooth, creaminess that I'm fond of in my bean spreads. That's when I looked over my shoulder and spotted the olive oil, unopened. I forgot the olive oil. Luckily, it was an easy fix, but it's still a slight annoyance.
The original recipe calls for fava beans and an extended cooking time. I opted for edamame, commonly known as soybeans, which are really high in protein and have a fresh, natural taste to them. Usually you can find them in the frozen section pre-shelled. Or if you have fresh, they would work here nicely as well. The cayenne is optional, but I really like that extra little kick of heat at the end.
The Moroccan bread was good for how simple it was to put together. You get a nice flat loaf, similar to an Italian Focaccia shape. I'm not a huge fan of anise flavoring, so I opted for about 1 teaspoon, crushed and it gave the bread a really nice aromatic licorice flavor that wasn't over powering. If you don't like anise at all, you could probably leave it out, but it does give the bread its unique taste.
makes about 2 cups
2 cups frozen edamame
4 garlic cloves
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 to 1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/4 teaspoons paprika
3/4 teaspoons cayenne (optional)
lemon wedges, to serve (optional)
Bring a pot of water to boil, toss in the frozen edamame. Boil for 3 minutes, remove from heat and let sit for a few minutes. Drain, reserving the cooking water.
Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor, except for the lemon, and blend until smooth. The puree should be thick enough to pick up with a piece of bread, but not so thick that it feels solid. If it's to thick, the puree can be thinned with some of the reserved cooking water.
Serve with Moroccan Bread (recipe below) or any bread, crackers, or vegetable you like.
Adapted from World Vegetarian
makes 1 loaf
makes 1 loaf
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
3 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons sesame seeds
1/2 to 1 teaspoon anise seeds
peanut or canola oil
cornmeal for dusting
Combine the yeast, sugar, and 1/4 cup warm water (105˚F. to 115˚F) in a small bowl. Stir to dissolve the yeast completely. Set aside for 5 minutes, or until the yeast begins to bubble.
Meanwhile, put the flour in a large bowl and mound it into the shape of a hill. Make a crater on the hilltop and put the salt, sesame seeds, anise seeds, and the yeast mixture into it. Now slowly pour about 1 cup, or slightly less, warm water (105˚F. to 115˚F) into the crater. As you add the water, slowly gather the flour together into a ball. Keep adding the water a little at a time, and gathering the dough, until it begins to form a soft, smooth ball. Once you can form a ball, start to knead. Knead the dough well for about 10 minutes, or until it is smooth and elastic. Form a ball.
Lightly oil a large baking tray and sprinkle some cornmeal over it. Set aside.
Grease a large work surface, such as a countertop. Put the dough ball on the greased surface and flatten it out to form a round disc, about a 1/2 inch high.
Using both palms and outstretched fingers, carefully lift the disk and place it on the baking tray. With a sharp knife, score the top of the loaf very lightly in a diamond pattern with lines that are about 1/2 inch apart. Cover with a clean dishcloth and leave in a warm place to rise for about 1 hour, or until the loaf has doubled in height.
Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Adjust the oven rack to the lowest possible shelf.
When the loaf has doubled in height, prick it twice on the side with a fork. Place in the oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the loaf is golden brown on top and sounds hollow when you tap on it. Remove to a cooling rack. Cut into wedges or slices and serve warm and or at room temperature.