Healthy, make at home Hummus

Making Hummus at home is simple, economical and versatile.  Keeping a few essentials on hand will give you the chance to whip up a batch for appetizers, a lazy dinner, or a good to go lunch option.  Stock a few cans of garbonzo beans, or use the dried version and really make it on the cheap, albeit not quite as impromptu a fashion.  Perhaps we should keep both the dry and canned varieties on hand.  Garbonzo beans are great in salads, vegetable soups and added to a meze platter. 

Another have to have pantry item is tahini.  You can find tahini in almost every grocery store these days, usually in the international aisle.  Beyond these two ingredients, the sky is the limit.  Add as much or as little spice, some cilantro or parsley and maybe some roasted red peppers and some warm pita  and you’ll be transported to the middle east.  Don’t forget the olives.

Basic Hummus

2 plump cloves of garlic

zest of 1/2 or more lemon

several sprigs cilantro or parsley

2 15 oz cans of garbonzo beans, drained – liquid reserved

1/4 cup tahini paste

1/2 tsp salt

several grinds black pepper

1/2 tsp or more ground cumin

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper or chipotle powder or both

juice of 1 lemon

reserved liquid from canned beans, as needed to acheive the consistency you desire.

In the bowl of a food processor, place the garlic and lemon zest.  Process until finely minced.  Add the cilantro and process until minced.  Add the beans, seasonings, lemon juice and a bit of the reserved liquid.  Process until smooth, scraping down the sides of the work bowl a few times and adding more liquid, if desired.   

This spread is fantastic with tortilla chips,  in a wrap with lots of fresh spinach and most appropriately, with olives, warm pita, some feta cheese and a glass of wine.  Try adding 1/2 cup of drained, roasted red peppers for a beautifully colored interpretation.

Enjoy!

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