With scant knowledge and even less preparation, I signed up to thru-hike the Lebanese Mountain Trail (LMT), a 30-day, 292-mile trek that traverses the length of the country. Thru-hiking, the end-to-end hike of a trail, has a well-earned reputation as a fulfilling, yet challenging, endeavor. As CleverHiker’s Dave Collins describes it, “Completing a thru-hike will be one of the most profoundly rewarding achievements of your life … it’ll also be tough as hell and you’ll wish you were dead.” That pretty much sums it up.
The photo above is the cedar tree on the Lebanese flag. It was taken on April 23 which gives you a sense of the weather we encountered. It was one of the best, and most challenging, things I’ve ever done. One of the highlights was the amazing food we were served in guest houses, hotels, and monasteries. In honor of one of my favorite countries in the world, here’s a recipe for Lebanese roasted garlic hummus from my book.
Roasted Garlic Hummus
2 c. chickpeas, cooked or canned, rinsed and drained
1 head garlic, roasted and pureed
1/4 c. warm water
2 tbsp tahini
1 lemon, juiced
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 c. Extra-virgin olive oil, to serve
Chopped parsley for garnish
Paprika, for garnish
Za’atar, for garnish
Combine the chickpeas, garlic, warm water, tahini, lemon juice, and salt in a food processor. Puree until the mixture is smooth and light. Adjust the consistency bu adding either a little water or lemon juice. The hummus can be stored at this point in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 3 day
To serve: Allow the hummus to come to room temperature. Spoon it into a bowl, drizzle it with olive oil, and sprinkle with parsley, paprika, and/or za’atar. Accompany the hummus with crudités, pita or other flatbreads, or crackers.