Friday, May 14, 2010

Yum Hum Hummus

"God bless the chickpea." -- Dr. Michael Mitchell (George Clooney's guest character on the sitcom Friends)

I agree with Dr. Mitchell. The humble chickpea is blessed. It can be ground to make flour. It can be ground into a paste for falafel. It can be tossed whole into salads, soups and pasta. It can be roasted whole to make a delicious, crunchy snack. It's full of protein, fiber, calcium, and it's low in fat. What's not to love? My favorite way to process the chickpea is to puree it into a hummus.

Here's my recipe:

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons tahini (a sesame paste)
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil , plus extra for drizzling if desired
1 (14-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 garlic clove, minced (or more, if you're a garlic lover like me)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Pinch cayenne (or more to taste)

Combine lemon juice and water in small bowl or measuring cup. Whisk together tahini and olive oil in second small bowl or measuring cup.

Process chickpeas, garlic, salt, cumin, and cayenne in food processor until almost fully ground, about 15 seconds. Scrape down bowl with a spatula. With machine running, add lemon juice-water mixture in steady stream through feed tube. Scrape down bowl and continue to process for 1 minute. With machine running, add oil-tahini mixture in steady stream through feed tube; continue to process until hummus is smooth and creamy, about 15 seconds, scraping down bowl as needed.

Done! Get your favorite dippers and dip away. You can also flavor the hummus any way you desire. I use the base recipe above and add whatever I'm in the mood for at the end of processing: sundried tomatoes and basil, roasted red pepper, roasted garlic, jalapeno...the possibilities are endless. What flavors do you think would be good in hummus?

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