The Hummus Among Us

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I'm Erin Allmann. I love family, friends and food. A lot. I live in a teeny, tiny apartment in a place called Paradise with a wonderful boyfriend named Brett who cooks much better than I do. We both happen to be fantastic at eating and whenever we're not doing so, (which isn't all that often), we try to stay occupied outdoors. We're also two of the biggest nerds you can ever find, so excuse the occasional o-chem, bio, Harry Potter, or Star Wars reference.

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I used to be a hummus-hater. Seriously. Honestly, I used to hate every kind of bean, period. I wouldn’t touch chili with a ten-foot pole. Burritos were filled with only meat, rice and cheese. I was basically a weirdo. Luckily, I have since had a change of heart, and thanks to a del taco 79¢ bean and cheese burrito in high school, I have risen above my bean-eschewing ways. Refried beans and I are now the best of friends, and even black beans, white beans and red beans make occasional appearances on my table. But chickpeas, or garbanzo beans.. now those suckers I still have trouble with. I think it’s the texture. Scratch that, I know it’s the texture; something about the way they feel really doesn’t appeal to me. But, blend them up with some olive oil and sesame paste? Boy howdy do you have a winner then!

Hummus is fabulous not only because it’s pretty dang healthy for you as far as dips go and it’s a good way to make picky eaters (i.e.: me) eat something they claim not to like, but also because it’s super versatile. You can add pretty much anything to the mix to change up the flavors or just use up stuff you have on hand. I like it with sun dried tomatoes and basil added in there, or with roasted red peppers–really the possibilities are endless. So what I’ll give you here are just the basics; feel free to dress it up however you like. My boyfriend would like for me to note, however, that it’s not really hummus unless it has two things: garbanzo beans and tahini. After that it’s up to you!

Basic Hummus

(adapted from Good Housekeeping Cookbook)

Ingredients

  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), rinsed and drained
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp paprika (plus more for garnish)
  • 2 tbsp fresh flat leaf parsley (optional; for garnish)
  • Pita bread and/or veggies for serving!

Instructions

  1. The original recipe has you blanch the garlic for three minutes in boiling water. Pretty sure I didn’t do this. Partially because I’m lazy and boiling water to make hummus sounds like too much work, and partially because I am a big ol fan of garlic, so raw garlic sounds a-ok to me. But if you like, go ahead and blanch your peeled garlic in boiling water for three minutes before putting it into your tall cup. OR go NUTS and roast it with the peel still on in a 400 degree oven with a little bit of olive oil for 25-30 minutes. Delish.
  2. Juice the lemon into a tall cup, being sure no seeds get involved. Place all other ingredients except flat leaf parsley (um, and the pita or veggies you’re dipping with) into a tall cup. Pulse, shake, pulse, shake, pulse, shake is the method you’re gonna use here. Do this a few times until enough gets blended that you can blend for about 20 seconds without the blades stopping up. Blend to desired consistency (you can either leave it a bit more chunky or go completely smooth, it’s up to you.). Dump it all into a large bowl, garnish with parsley and a sprinkling of paprika and serve with pita bread and/or cut up veggies for dipping. Eat and Enjoy!!
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