Sunday, May 22, 2011

Hummus, 3 Ways

Hummus is an amazing food. Of course, it's middle-eastern based but is found in multiple countries and types of cuisine. "Hummus" is the Arabic word for chickpeas and also this chickpeas-based dip. Hummus can be traced back thousands of years. Could the apostle Paul have eaten it on one of his tours in what is now Greece?  Perhaps. I picture gorgeous cliff views of ocean and amazing sunsets. Nowadays, you can order hummus at a Mediterranean restaurant, even buy a number of varieties at the grocery store. But why, when you can make it fresh in 10 minutes?
Traditional Hummus
*Adapted from Ina Garten's recipe and OhSheGlows*

1 can of chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and 2 TB of liquid reserved (or 2 cups cooked)
1/4 cup tahini (roasted sesame seed paste)
Juice of 2 lemons + grated rind of 1 lemon
3 garlic cloves
6-10 drops Tabasco or 2 TB your favorite salsa
1 t. sea salt + more to taste

Directions: Using food processor, mix all ingredients together until desired consistency. (I prefer creamy.) Serve in a dip bowl, top with 1/8 teaspoon of smoked paprika and drizzle with olive oil. Done.

You can purchase tahini at most grocery stores, but you might have to ask where it is. (Sometimes in the "International foods" section, sometimes near the peanut butter, sometimes in the "Healthy foods" section.) This "Traditional Hummus"recipe is great! However, to mix it up, I like some variety. Have you noticed my love for things in THREE's? This hummus is no exception.

Using this same base recipe, here's how you can vary it:

Hummus with pine nuts
Toast 3 TB pine nuts in toaster oven using a foil-lined tray. Be sure and sprinkle the nuts with sea salt if they are unsalted. After toasting, combine 2 TB of nuts in food processor. Top hummus with remaining pine nuts for garnish and drizzle olive oil, too.
Roasted red pepper hummus
Roasted red pepper hummus
While traditional recipe is still in the food processor, add 1/3 cup of roasted red peppers. Top with paprika and olive oil. The hummus will have a tint of red.
4-Pepper Hummus
Use any four peppers you like, but try these: 
1 TB roasted red pepper
1 t. fresh jalapeno (or 1 TB chipotle)
1 t. serrano pepper
2 TB green bell pepper
You can use a teaspoon or tablespoon, depending on how spicy you'd like it.
Italiano Hummus 
Add the following into the food processor, along with the traditional recipe:
1 (extra) garlic clove
2 TB fresh basil
1 t. fresh rosemary
Dash of salt and pepper
Spinach and garlic hummus
1 (extra) garlic clove
1/2 cup cooked, drained spinach or 2 cups raw spinach
Dash of salt and pepper 
"Traditional" hummus, with a little lemon and smoked paprika on top
As a dip
As a sandwich spread
As a "sauce" on the side of grilled chicken, pork, beef

Pita bread
Pita chips, multiple varieties
Bell pepper strips (red, yellow, green, orange)
Carrots (baby, ripple chips)
Broccoli and cauliflower florets
Squash, zucchini or cucumber strips or rounds
Tortilla chips

A Trio of Hummus, packed for a picnic
Happy Sunday, friends!

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