I am not frequently at Walmart. In fact I have been there twice in my life, both times at the one out on West Broad in Short Pump. Both times looking for cans of boiled peanuts. The first time I left empty handed and defeated, convinced that the teenager looking at me quizzically while unpacking flats of Greek yogurt thought I had conjured up the existence of such a thing.
The second time, triumphantly resulted in the dish I am about to share with you, Boiled Peanut Hummus!
The hardest part of making this briny and earthy dip is coaxing those water-logged peanuts out of their shells where they’ve been incubating to a tasty, albeit mushy perfection. Fresh boiled peanuts are better of course, but they are harder to come by in Richmond (which does not make sense to me, Virginia being a peanut state and all). I’ve only ever seen them frozen sold on the side of the road out by Forest Hill. Anyway, I believe that these mushier specimens make for a smoother hummus anyway. That electric orange you see lining the bowl is chili oil from Peter Chang’s Cafe conveniently located in the same strip mall as the Walmart. I always plead with the servers there to give me a small take out container of the stuff, which I am deeply addicted to. This is not a recipe as I don’t think I have ever followed a recipe for hummus, you just sort of make it until it’s right.
Boiled Peanut Hummus
One or two (depending on how many are to eat) cans of boiled peanuts available at Walmart
1/4 to 1/2 cup of Sesame Tahini
Juice from one lemon
1 or 2 cloves garlic, smashed (optional)
Shell peanuts and toss in a food processor, skins and all if they have them. Add tahini, lemon and garlic. Process until smooth (this can take a bit) while slowly adding oil in a steady stream. I sometimes will add some yogurt or a bit of water to help things along.
Once it is smooth as I can get it, I put it in a bowl in the fridge to meld the flavors a bit. When ready to serve, garnish (or mercilessly drown, as in the above picture) with your favorite spicy condiment. Sit down with some veggies or crackers and go to town.