..........a blog about food, travel, gardening, and living the good life in Arizona.

Monday, February 1, 2016

H is for hummus

One of my favorite appetizers and all-round healthy snacks, hummus is dead simple to make at home in under 10 minutes. I usually make the classic recipe which follows below but once in a while, I'll add some roasted red bell pepper which is very good too.

Hummus originated in the Arabic world and literally meant "chickpeas" with the complete name of the prepared spread being "hummus bi tahina," which just means chickpeas and tahini (sesame seed paste). The earliest known recipes for this dish are recorded in cookbooks published in Cairo in the 13th century. Smart people even way back then! The basic ingredients are chickpeas, tahini (sesame paste), lemon, garlic and salt; it's been eaten in the middle east for millennia.

My introduction to hummus began in a Greek restaurant in Silicon Valley many, many years ago. It was just the classic version served with a drizzle of olive oil and the freshest pita bread for scooping up its deliciousness. And even though hummus is widely available in most grocery stores, it's easy to make at home and tastes so much better than commercial varieties. I don't go to the extent of cooking my own garbanzo beans, however, as I've found the canned variety is just fine. Here is my recipe:


1 (19 oz.) can garbanzo beans, half the liquid reserved (add extra liquid for a smoother consistency)
2-3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp. tahini
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 tsp. salt
black pepper to taste
2 Tbsp. olive oil

Super, super simple... just add all ingredients to a food processor and blend until smooth. Spoon into a serving dish, smooth it out and add whatever extras you want: a drizzle of olive oil, spices, chopped olives, chopped roasted bell pepper, cumin, parsley or nothing. Serve with pita bread, chips, or veges of choice.  (The swirled chili oil on top in my photo is Magic Ancho Chile Relish from Heidi Swanson's blog: 101cookbooks... the recipe can be found here. It's out of this world tasty; I use it on everything that needs a lift: sandwiches, tacos, veges, and as a bread dip.) Healthy. Yummy. Bon Appetit!

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