kamal mouzawak's fattet hummus
This month’s Bon Appetit cover story features Lebanese chef Kamal Mouzawak. He created Souk el Tayeb, the first farmers market in Beirut, with a mission to preserve local food traditions and promote sustainable agriculture. Later, he opened Tawlet, a cooperative restaurant where women home cooks prepare traditional meals from their respective Lebanese regions. There are now four more of its kind, and Kamal’s latest project—a B&B with a Tawlet-inspired kitchen—is the stuff foodie vacation dreams are made of.
This dish is from that kitchen. Fattet hummus is a variation of the Levant dish fatteh, which uses fried or toasted pita bread as a base for different toppings. This Lebanese version is often eaten for breakfast, but also works as a dinner starter or side. This recipe tosses pitas with olive oil, sprinkles them with salt, and toasts them in the oven until golden brown and crisp. The pita chips are then drenched in a garlic lemon yogurt and topped with quickly-seasoned chickpeas. The best part is added last: cashews toasted in brown butter. The hot brown butter collects in pools over the creamy yogurt and the cashews are an unexpected nutty delight alongside the chickpeas. The result is familiar, but special. Comfort, but genius.
Kamal mouzawak’s Fattet Hummus
Barely adapted from Bon Appetit, May 2019, recipe by Kamal Mouzawak.
Quickly simmering the chickpeas in some water, olive oil, and salt adds some flavor to canned beans. On the other hand, you can use dried chickpeas, pre-soaked and fully cooked. I also imagine this would be great with homemade pita (I use Michael Solomonov’s recipe from the Zahav cookbook). I can also think of a couple ways to make the shortcuts here even shorter. In a pinch: 1) Stacy’s pita chips and 2) un-doctored canned chickpeas, but, please, you didn’t hear that from me. The original recipe calls for whole milk yogurt and not Greek, but if, like me, you tend to stock Greek, then you can thin it out with a bit of milk or water. (I didn’t do this as much as I should have in the photo. But guess what? Still delicious.)
2 garlic cloves, divided
1 15.5-oz. can chickpeas, rinsed
2 tablespoons plus 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 8"-diameter pitas, split in half, torn into 1" pieces
2 cups plain whole-milk yogurt (or Greek yogurt thinned with a little milk or water)
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup chopped cashews
Sumac (for serving; optional)
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Smash 1 garlic clove with the side of a chef’s knife and combine in a medium saucepan with chickpeas and 2 Tbsp. oil. Pour in cold water to cover chickpeas. Season with salt and bring just barely to a simmer. As soon as you see bubbles, remove pan from heat and set aside.
Spread out pita pieces on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with remaining ⅓ cup oil and toss to coat; season with salt. Bake, tossing halfway through, until golden brown and crisp, 8–10 minutes. Remove pita chips from oven and set aside.
Finely grate remaining garlic into a small bowl. Add yogurt and lemon juice and mix well to combine; season with salt.
Melt butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Add cashews and cook, stirring, until nuts and butter are golden brown, about 5 minutes.
Divide pita chips among bowls and scoop some lemon yogurt over. Drain chickpeas and divide evenly among bowls, then spoon over some of the toasted cashews and brown butter. Sprinkle with sumac just before serving if desired.