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Hummus

Photo By Tamorlan (Own work), via Wikimedia Commons

As an appetizer and dip, hummus is traditionally scooped with flatbread (such as pita) but you can also use chips or crackers. I particularly like to use baked pita chips. Hummus can also be used as a sandwich spread. Hummus is popular throughout the Middle East, and has become a favorite appetizer all over the world. It's so easy to make, you may never want to buy store-bought hummus again! This is a recipe for classic Lebanese hummus, which is delicious as-is or can be spiced up with a topping of roasted pine-nuts, parsley, etc.

Ingredient Note: Tahini is a sesame paste used frequently in middle eastern cooking. Tahini has a consistency of a slightly thinner natural peanut butter. When first opened, the oil will have separated to the top so you'll need to stir it very well to re-mix the oil and sesame. You can find tahini in middle eastern groceries, many natural foods stores, and at Trader Joe's.

Preparation

Add the garbanzo beans (drained and rinsed, with some of the liquid reserved) and garlic cloves to a food processor and pulse a few times. Add the tahini, lemmon juice, olive oil, and 1/4 of the reserved liquid from the beans. Pureé until smooth. Check the consistency and add some of the reserved liquid to thin out the hummus if it's too pasty and thick, or some additional olive oil if necessary. Add the salt while the processor is running. (Note: you can also drizzle olive oil over the top once the finished hummus is ready to serve, to give it a nice presentation.) Check flavors and adjust as necessary. Garnish with optional parsley and a light sprinkling of cumin or paprika.

Ingredients

  • 2 cans garbanzo beans
  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 - 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 cloves fresh garlic
  • 1 tablespoon Italian parsley (chopped) for garnish (optional)
  • light sprinkling of cumin or paprika for garnish (optional)