Monday, October 10, 2011
Hummus is one of those things that people either really, really like...or really, really dislike. I am definitely, happily in the first group...I absolutely love the stuff !
Hummus - or, more correctly, Hummus bi tahina (chickpeas with tahini) - for those who haven't made friends with it yet - is basically a dip or spread made with pureed cooked chickpeas (also known as garbanzos) tahini (sesame paste), olive oil, garlic and lemon juice. We're talking an ancient food here - hummus in some form has been eaten in the Middle East for thousands of years. as the chickpea was one of the earliest cultivated vegetables - 7,500 year old remains have been been found, which is mighty old indeed. (Hummus doesn't seem to hang in my house for 75 seconds though !). I'm not even sure what my first exposure to this delightful substance was...might have been the hippies renting upstairs from us when I was in second grade or so, or possibly from my mother's vegetarian friend who started my cookbook collection when I was 10. All I know is that it's damn good stuff - on pita triangles or veggies, spread on a sandwich, or just off the spoon. Well made hummus is truly a delight - and luckily, it's quite easy to make. At least, I think so now !!
The reason this post is titled "Hubby's" hummus is because hummus making is a skill that my husband brings to the table - I mean, I can make it and all, but he is really the master of this one. Way back in the old days when he was just a young not-quite-foodie, he used to work at a tiny restaurant in Downtown Boston called "Sarge's" (no longer there). Hummus was one of the items on the menu as a lunch plate (definitely not normal for the early 80's !), though the staff tended to refer to it as "camel puke"due to the consistency. He still raves about the fresh, fresh Syrian bread they used to get at the restaurant...he would go to pick it up when it was just coming out of the oven, all puffed up like pillows, quickly deflating to the familiar rounds. Good just plain, but even better with their hummus. Being such a huge hummus fan myself, I basically nagged him into making it for us. Turns out it goes great with beer and football, making it the perfect Sunday afternoon lunch around these parts.
I am giving the basic recipe here, but by all means you should add whatever you like to yours...we very often add a roasted red pepper (jarred will work fine, but roasting your own is fun too), or top it with a good black or green tapenade (olive spread).
1 can chickpeas (large size - 29 oz) or two smaller cans (reserve liquid)
1/2 cup tahini (or more to taste)
juice of 1 large lemon
1-2 cloves garlic, minced (to taste)
1/4 good olive oil
Place chickpeas in food processor and process until well chopped. Add rest of the ingredients and process until well combined, adding some liquid from the chickpeas until desired consistency is reached (should be creamy, but yet still somewhat grainy). Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.
Serve with pita bread, veggies (carrots / cucumbers / celery all work well), crackers...or whatever you like !