Hummus, it has a strange name and I can see why some people would think this isn't very appealing. But when I explain that it is basically bean dip, my friends and family are more at ease. Hummus is a dip/spread that is made from chickpeas. In fact, hummus is the Arabic word for chickpea. You may notice that many hummus recipes call for garbanzo beans, not chickpeas. Don't worry, garbanzo is the Spanish translation of chickpea. They are called cece beans in Italy. So here is how I make fancy bean dip.
Start with a can of Garbanzo Beans.
And dump into your cuisinart blender.
This is my secret ingredient. Lots of people put garlic in their hummus, but I roast my garlic in the oven for an hour until the garlic is brown, soft and bursting out.
I started by squeezing a few cloves into the blender, but ended up using the entire head of garlic in this batch.
Another secret ingredient, very special... truffle salt.
A pinch each of crushed red pepper and black pepper (or to taste.) Add whatever ingredients you like or have on hand. Some types of hummus have a strong lemon flavor, some have an overwhelming garlic flavor, and some hummus has a spicy tone. When making your own hummus, you have to keep your own tastebuds in mind. If a recipe calls for a lot of tahini and you don't like tahini, scale down the amount or simply omit it. Pine nuts, roasted bell pepper, black bean, spinach, sun dried tomato, pumpkin or almond butter are all wonderful additions.
When you have your ingredients chosen and put in the cuisinart, grab a good olive oil.
With the motor running, start to drizzle the olive oil until you reach the right consistency. It will probably be 1/2 cup per can of garbanzo beans.
Because I like the flavor of sesame oil, I added about a tablespoon.
Process until you reach your desired smoothness. Everyone is different, I like mine pretty smooth.
For added flavor I chopped kalamata olives that had been marinated in herbs and cabernet.
Spread the hummus on a plate and top with the olives and a sprinkling of freshly ground pepper. Serve with pita chips, crackers or crudite. This keeps for a while in the fridge, so make a batch early, then store until guest arrive for Thanksgiving - this gives them a healthy snack until dinner is ready.
Heads up, there is a giveaway on Friday, November 27th.