Aleksandra Crapanzano is a Brooklyn-based food writer who’s also a screenwriter, so she considers Los Angeles her second home. She’s the author of “The London Cookbook” and a new cookbook titled “Eat. Cook. L.A.”
For the new cookbook, Crapanzano collected 100 recipes from Los Angeles restaurants, food trucks, coffee shops, juice bars and cocktail lounges, retooling the recipes as needed for home cooks. The book provides an insider’s view of how L.A.’s culinary culture has evolved in recent years. “The City of Angeles is now sparkling with culinary stardust,” she writes in the book’s introduction. “It has, in a remarkably short time, transformed itself into the most exciting food city in the United States.”
This recipe from the cookbook is by Ted Hopson, chef and co-owner of the Bellwether, a gastropub in Studio City. Crapanzano describes it this way: “This is, to me, the taste of Los Angeles today: homegrown avocados spun into a luscious green hummus and topped with a fresh za’atar salad.”
AVOCADO HUMMUS WITH FRESH ZA’ATAR SALAD
Serves 6 as an appetizer or shared plate
1 cup cooked chickpeas 2 tablespoons tahini
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil, plus a bit more as needed
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
4 ripe Hass avocados, peeled and pitted
4 cups fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
A few stems of thyme, leaves picked
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted
2 teaspoons sumac
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Salt and pepper
Maldon sea salt, for serving
Warmed, grilled or toasted pita, for serving
To make the hummus: Combine the chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and salt in a food processor and process until the mixture is perfectly smooth. Add the avocados and process again until smooth.
Scrape the sides and the bottom of the processor with a rubber spatula, give the processor another quick spin, and taste the hummus for seasoning.
To make the za’atar salad: Toss all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl. It should be fairly dry, not overdressed. Season to taste.
To serve: Top the hummus with the za’atar salad. Sprinkle with the Maldon sea salt and serve with pita.
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Source: Ted Hopson of the Bellwether, Studio City, Calif. Excerpted with permission from “Eat. Cook. L.A.” by Aleksandra Crapanzano; published by Ten Speed Press.