Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Dip-Snackin' Good Hummus Recipe

I still love dips, even if the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned us of the danger potentially lurking in salsa and guacamole, especially in restaurants.

I'll take a homemade salsa of roasted tomatillos, onions and other goodies any day. And don't even ask me about guacamole. I could support the California avocado industry single-handed.

But my new favorite is hummus. It works as a snack (a dip) and as a vegetarian entree (a filling for sandwiches or served with a salad). All three of my picky kids will eat it. I repeat: ALL THREE. KIDS.

I can't say the same for most other foods. My daughter loves avocados as I do. Her two brothers act as though it were slug slime. My hubby loves the tomatillo salsa. Kids, blech. I can't even get all three kids to be happy with grilled cheese sandwiches or macaroni and cheese all at the same time. I usually say, "You get what you get, and you don't get upset."

Occasionally I just want everyone to eat and be happy without my becoming a short order cook or setting up a big buffet or letting someone go hungry. That's when I throw together something they all like, such as Korean-style beef strips or Thai cucumber salad and hummus.

Chickpea Hummus

2 (14 ounce) cans chickpeas (about 3 cups total)
3 tsp chopped garlic (or 5 cloves of roasted garlic)
2 tsp sesame oil*
juice of 1 lemon
1/2 tsp salt (taste and add more, if needed)
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil**

Put chickpeas, garlic, sesame oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper in the bowl of a food processor and start to puree. With machine running, drizzle in olive oil until mixture is smooth. Stop machine and scrape down sides if needed.

Serve hummus with pita wedges, shredded-wheat crackers or chips, or spread hummus on soft, thin flatbread and roll to eat.

*Traditional hummus recipes use sesame tahini (paste), but I don't typically keep on hand a container of tahini, and I never want to run out to get it just for a small batch of hummus. I find that the sesame oil is a substitute that I really like.
**You could use water or chicken stock/broth instead of oil, if you want to lower the fat content the way my husband does, but I always use olive oil.
***Other things I frequently like to add to the recipe include a Tablespoon of chopped flat leaf parsley and a half teaspoon to a teaspoon of cumin. Another tasty addition would be some pureed roasted red bell pepper.

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