Rosemary + Sea Salt Crackers with Traditional Hummus (Gluten Free)

by Wendy

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Fall is here in big ways!  We have been emptying the garden and putting up the bounty for winter with unabashed fervor.  A hard killing frost several weeks ago, had the kids and I stashing the tender tomatoes, summer squash, cucumbers, peppers, and melons into baskets, buckets, and dishpans, mostly anything we can get our hands on that will hold produce.  The bounty has been lined up in the kitchen on floors and counters, and spilling over into the dining room, with apples, pumpkins, and keeping squash, taking up temporary residence in the garage, until we have a chance to sort and float the overflow into the root cellar.

WHEW!

Can you say abundance????

It’s all good.  And beautiful.  There is comfort in the process of harvesting.  The bold assurance of filling shelves before snow flies.  There is joy in the sharing of abundant garden glory.  Passing along a bountiful harvest to friends, family and neighbors, creates grateful connection between Giver and Receiver.

It was through the sharing that I was the gifted receiver of another homesteader’s bountiful rosemary.  She had used all she needed, and passed along the excess joy.   It was so fragrant and beautiful, I couldn’t resist making something wonderful that really showcased rosemary’s bold, aromatic flavor.  I have loved working alongside the drying rosemary in the kitchen, with its heady, uplifting aroma.

I have been working on incorporating more beautiful whole grains, that are also gluten-free into our diet.  Sounds like an oxymoron, right?

Whole Grain and Gluten Free???? 

Not something that automatically pairs in my brain.

However, I am pioneering my way through a whole new world of whole food, whole grain cooking that is also gluten-free.  I am so excited about this.  It is a new frontier for me, even though I have used whole grains for years, there are so many less mainstream grains, seeds, nuts, and legumes, that are beautiful whole food, and can be holistically utilized in the kitchen in a healthful manner without the added wheat.

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I have been working on perfecting this cracker recipe, and it is the perfect match with rosemary to embolden and elevate the tasting experience.  I am also including my favorite traditional hummus recipe that has become a no-fail go-to recipe.  Even if you think you don’t like hummus, make this.

It is that good.

The Rosemary and Sea Salt Crackers, paired with Traditional Hummus are a match made in heaven.  Together they are the perfect fall flavors, complimenting all of your cozy soups, stews, and chili recipes, or as a stand alone snack with a glass of wine.

Mmmmmmm.

 

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Rosemary + Sea Salt Crackers

adapted from the back of a King Arthur Almond Flour bag

1 3/4 c.  Almond Flour, not almond meal*

1  flax egg  (1 T. ground flax + 3 T. tepid water, mix in small bowl, and let set 3-5 min.)

2 additional Tablespoons tepid water

1/2 t. sea salt, or Redmond real salt

1/2 t. freshly ground black pepper

1-2 T.  fresh rosemary, chopped**

Extra Sea Salt for sprinkling

Preheat oven and baking stone*** to 350 degrees.

Whisk together dry ingredients:  almond flour, sea salt, black pepper, and chopped rosemary.

Add flax egg and two additional tablespoons of water.

Stir together until a stiff dough forms.  I usually end up mixing with my hands to allow the dough to come together quickly and thoroughly.

Shape dough into a ball.  Flatten into a thick disk.

Place round disk of dough onto a piece of parchment paper.  Cover with a second piece of parchment.  Roll out with a rolling pin into a rectangular shape, until about 1/8 inch thick.

Remove top piece of parchment.  Score dough with a pizza wheel into 1 inch squares.

With a fork pierce each cracker a couple of times.  This keeps the crackers crispness, by allowing steam to escape while baking.  Do not skip!

Slide the crackers with the parchment in place, onto a large peel, or rimless baking sheet.  This just helps keep your crackers steady on the way to the oven, but if you do not have one, just carefully lift both ends of the parchment, and transfer with care, onto the hot baking stone in the oven.

Bake 15-20 minutes, until the crackers are light golden brown.  The outer crackers may brown up a little more quickly, and that’s ok.  They won’t be uniform, the outside edges will get a little more color than the middle crackers.

Transfer to a cooling rack.  Allow to cool completely before storing in an airtight container.  The crackers will crisp as they cool.

Notes:

*I have used both King Arthur brand almond flour, as well as bob’s red mill.  Both work well in this recipe, just be sure that you are buying super finely ground almond flour, and not almond meal.  They are not the same. 

**I used 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh rosemary, for a bold hit of herbal flavor, but if you are new to rosemary, or want a more subdued flavor start with 1 tablespoon. 

***I have discovered that a baking stone makes the best homemade crackers.  This works wonders with all my cracker recipes, I highly recommend it.  They crisp up better, and cook more evenly, but if you don’t have one, you can also use a regular baking sheet.

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Traditional Hummus

recipe from: bonappetit.com

2 c. soaked and cooked chickpeas* + one teaspoon of cooking liquid (reserve a few whole chickpeas for garnish if you like)

1/3c. extra virgin olive oil

freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 1/2 to 3/4 of a lemon in winter, and a full lemon in summer–yes, it’s seasonal, and yes, it matters)

1 T.  tahini

1 large roughly chopped garlic clove

1/2 t.  salt

Place prepared chickpeas into the food processor along with one teaspoon of the reserved cooking liquid.  Whirl for ten seconds.

Use a spatula to scrape rough chickpea mixture from the sides of the processor.  Add lemon juice and tahini.  Pulse again to incorporate.

Taste.

Scrape down the sides again and add the roughly chopped garlic clove and salt.  Pulse until the mixture is quite smooth, taking breaks to fold in toward the center. If necessary add in a little more olive oil to help smooth it out.

Taste again.

Spoon hummus into a bowl and use  spatula to swirl it into a spiral.  Garnish with a tiny splash of olive oil, and a few reserved chickpeas.

*I prefer to use traditionally prepared chickpeas instead of canned for this dish.  To prepare dried chickpeas,  place in a mixing bowl, cover with water and 2 tablespoons lemon juice.  Allow to soak overnight, or up to 24 hours.  Drain chickpeas from soaking water, and place into a pressure cooker, or cook in a conventional dutch oven.  Cover with 4 cups of water, add 1 teaspoon salt.   

To pressure cook:  Add a teaspoon of olive oil to the chickpea, salt, and water mixture, bring to a boil, cover with the lid to the cooker, allow to come to 15 lbs. of pressure, reduce heat and pressure cook for 25 minutes. 

To cook conventionally:  Place chickpeas in dutch oven with the 4 cups of water, bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 50-60 minutes or until tender.