hummus

Hummus is my favorite go-to snack when I’ve got the mid-day munchies. This traditional Middle Eastern concoction is easy to make, versatile, and healthy. Basically, you’re whizzing up chickpeas (a.k.a.: garbanzo beans) with some olive oil and tahini (toasted sesame seed paste) in a food processor, then throwing in whatever your heart desires to flavor to the hummus.

Hummus is not only great for dipping raw veggies or crackers in for a quick snack, it can also be used as a condiment — I like to spread it on wraps, sandwiches, etc. Try this delicious version I made with roasted garlic that rivals any of the expensive ones you’ll find at the grocery store.

Roasted Garlic Hummus
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
3 cloves roasted garlic*
2 tablespoons of tahini**
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt (or more, to taste)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
1/4 onion, chopped
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 of a lime, juiced

1. In a small pan, heat olive oil and red pepper flakes over med-low heat, for about five minutes, to infuse the oil. Set aside. (If you want some heat, leave the pepper flakes in the oil; if not, strain them out.)
2. Put half of the chickpeas into the food processor along with the reserved olive oil, roasted garlic, tahini, and spices (through pepper). Process for about a minute and add the rest of the chickpeas. Process for another minute.
3. Add onion to the mixture and, with the motor running, add the water in the opening at the top of the food processor. Allow it to run for about two minutes, or until smooth.
4. Add the cilantro and lime juice, give it a few pulses to incorporate, then taste the hummus to see if it needs more seasoning. Keep refrigerated.

*To make a whole head of roasted garlic, check out this recipe. If you only want to roast a few cloves: peel them, place them in a small piece of aluminum foil, drizzle with olive oil, wrap the garlic in the foil, and roast in a 400 degree oven for 25-30 minutes.

**Tahini can be found in the ethnic and organic food aisles at the grocery stores. If you don’t have any, don’t worry- just substitutue another tablespoon of olive oil for it.

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