I don't have any childhood stories about hummus...no fond memories of multiple generations sitting around the table breaking fresh naan and mopping up every last bit from a ceramic bowl. I grew up in the South, and in those days, the words "organic" and "health food" triggered fear and mystification. In fact, the first time I tried hummus, I was in high school working my first job. A rather outdoorsy coworker kept bringing hummus for lunch along with all sorts of other non-fried foods. When she told me what was in it, the mere mention of a chickpea elicited strange images in my mind of a chicken and a micro-egg.
This memory makes me laugh and cringe a little at the same time. If I ever see that coworker again, I will wrap my arms around her and gush a thousand thank you's for introducing me to one of my favorite foods. So easy...so healthy...so versatile. Hummus is basically just pureed chickpeas (or garbanzo beans), olive oil, and a few spices. It's the perfect pair for veggies, pita chips, warmed naan, and also makes a fantastic sandwich spread. I also love smearing it on a toasted onion bagel sandwich or chicken wrap.
This hummus recipe really has a "bite" to it from the extra virgin olive oil, garlic, and lemon. You can easily adjust these amounts to suit your taste, or use a fruitier olive oil. Personally I prefer my hummus without the traditional ingredient Tahini (sesame paste), so that is reflected in the recipe below. I've found that "most" people who have tasted my hummus agree, but if you love sesame, by all means, add a little to taste. I would start with a tablespoon, and go from there.
This recipe is a blank canvas...do with it whatever you like. There are hundreds of flavor varieties out there, so do some experimenting and see how creative you can get. I've listed a few ideas below to help get you started. Enjoy!
Yield: about 2 cups
2 15 oz. cans garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained
2 cloves garlic, peeled
juice of 1 lemon
2 tsp. cumin
2 tsp. Kosher salt
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Add all ingredients in a food processor or blender and puree until smooth and creamy.
- Use a flexible spatula to scoop the hummus into a serving bowl, and drizzle with more olive oil.
- Add any toppings you wish (see variations below).
- Can be served with veggies, pita chips, warmed naan, or even tortilla chips for the Mexican varieties.
- This hummus should keep in the fridge for about one week.
- Jalapeno, Cilantro, and Lime
- Rosemary, Chevre, and Drizzled Honey
- Roasted Red Peppers, Kalamata Olives, and Feta
- Chevre and Sun-dried Tomatoes
- Fresh Basil, Tomatoes, and Pine Nuts
- Parmesan and Thyme
- Manchego and Chorizo
- Spinach-Pesto Hummus topped with Bacon
- Curried Hummus topped with Raisins
- Butternut Squash Hummus topped with Pancetta and Fresh Sage
- Pumpkin Hummus topped with Balsamic Reduction, Feta, and Walnuts