Hummus B' Lahme : Hummus with Minced Meat and Pinenuts

When I was a little girl I would dream about having a swimming pool full of Jello. Strawberry Jello actually. It would be the perfect shade of pink and one solid piece that was firm, so you could tip toe out onto it if you wanted. I imagined myself gently walking, tan toes on pink Jello, then lightly bouncing a few times and then jumping up and diving in. I am not exactly sure what would happen then. I suppose my eight year old self would be half suspended in strawberry Jello and the other half would be winnie the pooh style, chubby little legs flailing about. One day I realized that Jello needed to be cold in order to firm up and I wondered how I would be able to move a whole swimming pool worth of Jello into a refrigerator. Maybe it would work if it was really cold outside, but then it would also be too cold to swim. That is probably also when I decided it was a better idea to chill sheets of Jello on trays inside lots of refrigerators and then cut it into cubes and fill the pool with strawberry Jello cubes before diving in. Logistics.

I was most likely wearing a neon pink and green one piece, and trying to keep the chlorine scented water dripping from my hair into my hummus, I was probably ten shades darker then I am right now and was perched on top of a plastic lounger drinking Fresca at my grandma's pool watching my sister and cousins jumping in and out, seeing who would make the biggest splash.
I would take you there if I could, the strawberry Jello pool I mean. But until then, I will just make you the hummus and top it with minced meat and toasted pinenuts. It's almost just as good. 

Boil two cups of garbanzo beans (preferably dried and soaked overnight but this is real life and sometimes we need to use canned - Whatever you do… don’t buy hummus. We will be in a fight if you buy it) until tender. Strain them in your kitchen sink.
Pulse four, maybe five, raw cloves of garlic in a food processor before adding the garbanzos. When your food processor starts to struggle, squeeze in one lemon’s juice, add a teaspoon each cumin and salt, and a tablespoon of tahini and keep on pulsing. Splash in olive oil until it reaches the consistency you desire. I have to taste and adjust the favoring two or three times until I get it just right. Usually more lemon, then more salt the second time. Weird, right?

You can make the hummus a couple days ahead of time; that makes this recipe sort of a one step recipe, I mean it’s really still two, but if they are one different days I don’t think it counts.
Spread the hummus onto a serving dish, smoothing a mini dip for the all the fantastic it is about to carry. 

I like to eat, well devour really, hummus at room temperature, but it’s still hot isn’t it. I mean, it was just boiling… let that hummus chill.
Put a skillet on medium heat and melt two tablespoons of butter. Dice half of a yellow onion and add to the melted butter to sauté. Once the onions are translucent and half a pound ground lamb and half a pound ground beef. Break the meat apart into tiny pieces. I recommend using a pastry whip, but a spatula or spoon work fine too. Add in one teaspoon each cinnamon and Lebanese seven pepper blend (you can substitute with cumin or cardamom too). Salt too, of course. The meat should take about fifteen minutes to cook all the way through, key an eye on it. Once it is done add a splash of pomegranate juice and let it simmer off.

In a separate, dry skillet toast half a cup of pinenuts.
Once the meat is done cooking scoop the contents of the skillet on to the hummus bed you created earlier and then top with the toasted pine nuts. Scoop with the treasured Arabic bread you found at a far away, and practically hidden Middle Eastern bakery. Daydream a little.  


  1. I made this last weekend and it was SO GOOD!!!! Thank you!!