Hummus: the Middle Eastern and sometimes Mediterranean restaurant staple. Oh, yes. It's there, on the menu with the other appetizers.
Then again, it's on lots of menus- never mind the culinary genre.
But, yay for freshly homemade hummus! It's simple, healthy, and a great snack to have around for noshing on (it tastes pretty good, too).
Hummus can be eaten with pita or lavash, raw carrots, celery, cucumber, and bell peppers, used as a spread for sandwiches, as a side with chicken or lamb, with a hamburger...
The best part is that you can take a basic recipe and blend in whatever sounds good to change the flavor: chopped olives, toasted pine nuts, roasted red peppers, sumac or other spices, sun dried tomatoes, herbs (like oregano, perhaps), extra lemon or garlic...
2, 15 oz. cans of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1/3 c fresh lemon juice
zest of 1/2 lemon
1/2 c plus 3 T extra virgin olive oil
1/3 c tahini (sesame paste)
freshly ground black pepper
Garnish: extra virgin olive oil, paprika, parsley
Place the garlic and chickpeas in the bowl of a food processor. Process until the chickpeas are broken down and resemble wet sand. Add lemon juice, lemon zest, olive oil, tahini, 1 t Kosher salt, 1/2 t black pepper and process until smooth. Taste the hummus and add more olive oil, salt and/or pepper as necessary until desired texture and flavor are reached.
Place the hummus in a serving bowl or other container, cover, and refrigerate at least 2 hours prior to serving to let the flavors blend (it really does make a difference).
Hummus will last a week in the refrigerator.