Sunday, April 15, 2012
Hummus is a wonderful Mediterannean dip made from blending garbanzo beans (also known as chickpeas), tahini and spices until smooth and creamy. It is so delicious, super kid friendly and a big hit at parties. The best part- it comes together in seconds!! You are done with the entire recipe in a matter of 5 minutes. This one is a nice traditional recipe, but you could easily vary the flavor by adding in a handful of kalamata olives, roasted garlic in place of the raw, chives or roasted red peppers to the food processor. Roasted red peppers give it a lovely reddish color. There is so much you could do to make it fun and different each and every time.
It is most commonly used as a dip, but it is awesome for a sandwich spread. I love it on my veggie burgers even! Our dinner this evening was a big spread of raw carrots, cucumber spears, grape tomatoes, pita bread wedges, pita chips, feta cheese, a garlic and herb cheese and rotisserie chicken. It was so colorful, light yet satisfying and everyone loved it. When I serve vegetables this way my son will always take tons and eat them before anything else! Offer color and variety and let them choose. You will be surprised at how well they actually eat!!
I tried a new technique today when making a batch of my homemade Hummus. Peeling the soft skins off of the chickpeas (yes, every single one!) before blending. I heard from an Arabic friend that this is how their family has always done it. Supposed to make it creamier. I was curious after never doing it this way so I figured why not! Good thing I have a 5 yr old to help out :) It did seem a bit creamier but in the end I don't think I would go to the trouble- there are a lot of chickpeas in 2 (15 ounce) cans!! My 5 minute recipe turned into a 25 minute recipe this way. lol. It was a fun experiment, and Jackson loved helping- at least for the first can until he got bored! In the end, do it if you have extra time on your hands. Otherwise, I just wouldn't bother.
2 (15 ounce) cans of garbanzo beans (chickpeas), juices from one can reserved
1/3 cup tahini
1/3 cup lemon juice (roughly the juice of two and half lemons)
3-4 cloves garlic
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp crushed red chili flakes
olive oil for drizzling
a sprinkling of paprkia
fresh chives or parsley, chopped
for dipping (any assortment of the following)
various raw vegetables, sliced (carrots, bell peppers, cucumbers, whole cherry/grape tomatoes, etc.)
pita bread or naan
olives and porcini peppers are nice on the side as well
Combine in food processor or blender the garbanzo beans, tahini, 1/4 cup lemon juice, garlic, salt, red chili flakes and cumin. Bend until smooth. Taste and add more lemon juice to suit your taste. We prefer it more on the lemony side. It will be quite thick at this point. Slowly add in some of the reserved garbanzo bean juice to thin it out. Blend again. Add more of the juice, blend and taste. Repeat until you reach the right consistency. You won't need all the juice just enough to get it creamy!! The texture should be smooth and creamy and not too thick.
Transfer to a serving dish and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with paprika and fresh herbs. Serve alongside various dippers and enjoy!