Sunday, April 15, 2012

Lazy Afternoon Hummus

Today was one of those lazy days that I just didn't feel like doing anything.  The air was warm and summer like.  A light breeze blew the wind chimes on the deck, begging me to come out of the house and  enjoy this rare April day.  At first I felt guilty, having a long list of things I should be doing.  But I gave in quickly and enjoyed the quiet of a Sunday afternoon in my own back yard.   My yard has come alive again.  The grass is green, and the garden is growing.  My herbs are growing like crazy and for the first time ever, they all survived the winter.  The few cool weather vegetables I've planted have been off to a slow start.  The peas are up, as are some of the lettuces, but my radishes and arugula have been the victim of some evil critter.  Whatever ate them has good taste.  They were heirloom seeds.  I hope this is not a foreshadowing of things to come.  Anyway, it was too beautiful a day to get aggravated about something over which I had no I decided just to appreciate the moment.
Being lazy can certainly work up an appetite.  I decided to whip up a batch of hummus, thinking I could lure Paul outside with some hummus and an ice cold beer.  I was right.  He's easy prey.
Hummus is so simple and inexpensive to make.   I think homemade hummus is so much better than store-bought hummus.  You can customize it to your liking, add or subtract spices, add some roasted red pepper, or spice it up with jalapeno.  Use your imagination and taste as you go.  Let your taste buds be your guide.  Hummus can be made in a blender, but a good food processor does a better job.  This hummus is slightly spicy.  You can omit the cumin, coriander and hot paprika if you prefer a plain traditional hummus.
Makes about 2 cups
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1  can of garbanzo beans, 19 ounces - reserve the liquid
  • 2 tablespoons sesame tahini sauce (I've used toasted sesame seeds, processed in the food processor  when I didn't have tahini- tasted fine, but "nuttier texture")
  • 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot paprika (or use ground red pepper)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • chopped parsley for garnish
  1. Chop garlic in food processor.
  2. Add the garbanzo beans, lemon juice and tahini sauce.  Process 30 seconds.
  3. Remove cover and scrape down sides of food processor.  Add salt, spices and olive oil.
  4. Process 1 minute.  
  5. Check thickness of hummus.  If you like the consistency a little thinner ( like I do) add some of the reserved liquid from the beans, a tablespoon at a time.  Pulse processor and check again adding more liquid if necessary.  I usually add in 3 tablespoons of liquid.  If you decided to add something like roasted red pepper to your hummus, you may not need any liquid.  Always check consistency first.
  6. Transfer hummus to a bowl, garnish with a sprinkle of hot paprika and freshly chopped parsley.
Serve hummus with toasted pita chips, celery and carrot sticks.  I also like to spread hummus on a turkey sandwich in place of mayo or mustard.  It's good stuff! 

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