The Super Bowl is just around the corner and I've been thinking about how we can infuse this year's festivities with a little Nordic style. You know, maybe take some classic favorites game day foods and Scandi them up a little.
Chips and dip is always a good place to start. I thought maybe it would be fun to create a dip made with yellow split peas, that quintessentially Scandinavian legume that creates the base for so many hearty and delicious soups throughout the region. As it turns out, Martha Stewart's book Power Foods has a recipe for Yellow Split Pea Dip. I made a few adjustments and gave it a go. It was good, but I felt like I wanted to up the game a little, maybe bring in a little more flavor somehow.
My thoughts suddenly turned to remoulade, the traditional Danish sauce that is essentially a curried mayonnaise sauce with capers and pickles. What if I brought those flavors to my split pea dip? A few batches later and I had a winner.....a creamy, hummus-like split pea dip with exotic curry flavor. I garnished my hummus with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of capers, chopped corinchons (those cute little pickles) and dill to pretty things up a bit and really bring those remoulade flavors forward.
For the Creamiest Hummus
For super creamy hummus, I've got a few suggestions for you:
- Use dried split peas that are relatively fresh. Yes, dried legumes last a long time in the pantry, but as the age, it can take longer to cook them to a really soft stage (which is what we want for a creamy texture). Make sure yours haven't been in the back of your cupboard for several years and that you are buying your split peas from a source with frequent turnover.
- Don't forget that pinch of baking soda! This is really critical. Baking soda changes the pH balance of the cooking water and ultimately leads to a softer, creamier hummus. It makes a HUGE difference. But not more than a pinch....too much baking soda can lead to soapy flavors in the final product.
- Cook the split peas until they are soft and falling apart. This will create that ultra creamy texture you are looking for.
Curried Split Pea Hummus
For the Hummus:
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil divided
- 1 small onion finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 cup yellow split peas picked over and rinsed
- 4 cups water plus additional water as necessary
- Pinch of baking soda
- 2 teaspoons curry powder
- Coarse salt
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Chopped corinchons or dill pickles
- Chopped fresh dill parsley or chives
- Extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling
- Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and saute until soft and translucent, about 3 minutes.
- Add split peas, water and baking soda to the pan. Bring to a boil over high heat, and then reduce heat to low. Simmer until split peas are very tender, about 40-50 minutes. If the peas are starting to look dry, add a little more water to the pan to keep them submerged.
- Transfer the split peas and cooking liquid to a food processor along with lemon juice, 1 teaspoon coarse salt, curry powder and remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Process until smooth. Season to taste with additional salt if desired.
- Serve hummus at room temperature topped with garnishes.