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Dorm Room Dish

By By Samantha Lim, Staff Writer

Add some Asian flair to a standard Middle Eastern appetizer by replacing its staple ingredient of chickpeas with edamame beans.

Did you know that edamame beans are soybeans picked before their prime? This accounts for their bright green color. They contain a higher percentage of protein than mature soybeans and are chock full of antioxidants. News of edamame's health benefits has been circulating, and this staple of the Japanese diet can easily be found in eateries everywhere.

Set the oven temperature to 350°F. Wrap the garlic bulb in aluminum cooking foil before popping it in the oven for 30-45 minutes. It's not necessary to peel off the papery covering of the garlic bulbs to remove the individual cloves. Simply cut off the top of the bulb; the insides should be soft enough for you to squeeze out.

Boil a pot of water and immerse the edamame beans. When they become very soft, remove the pot from the stove. Drain the water from the pot, and then run the beans under cool tap water.

            The easiest way to pulse the edamame beans would be to use a food processor, but here is an alternative method that's more practical in a kitchen on campus: Spoon the soft edamame into a big Ziploc bag and seal it almost all the way. Pound the bag until the beans become a pulp. This crude but amazingly simple method was how my grandmother prepared mashed potatoes before food processors and other extravagant kitchen appliances were introduced to the market.

The next step takes patience and you might need to put in some muscle, but the results are well worth it. Transfer the chunky pulp to a cooking sieve. Using a large spoon, push the pulp through the wire mesh. Stirring from time to time helps speed up the process. Aim to get a paste that is as smooth as possible.

            Stir the rest of the ingredients into the edamame paste. Your hummus is ready! Fill a serving bowl and store anything extra in Tupperware. For presentation's sake, use a knife to even out the top of the hummus before grinding some cracked pepper over it.

Lightly smear some flatbread or pita bread with olive oil. Put the slices of bread in the oven for 5-7 minutes, or simply toast them. Cut the bread into slices and serve alongside your hummus. Dip in!

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