Hummus is a middle-Eastern dish made from Chick Peas (a/k/a Garbanzo Beans). It is healthy and delicious!
It can be easily made in a food processor and served as an appetizer or a meal. For an accompanying beverage, try a nice Gewurtztraminer or imported beer.
Peel the garlic and chop in the food processor until fine. Add the beans, and process using a pulsing action. Once the beans are smooth, start adding the other ingredients. Add more olive oil if the mixture looks dry. Process until smooth and homogeneous.
Spread the hummus out into a flat dish (an oval plate is nice) with a spatula, making some attractive grooves in the top surface. Chill for at least one hour. Before serving, sprinkle the top liberally with paprika and drizzle a generous amount of olive oil on top. Cut up a large bag of Pita bread into small wedges and serve alongside.
You can find Tahini in most supermarkets, but you may have to ask for help finding it - I get it at Safeway. All the health-food stores carry it also. A can will last you for several rounds of Hummus-making. You can vary the amount, but don't leave it out!
You can start with 1/2 the salt and add the rest to taste. The amount of garlic you use is entirely up to you, some like it hot! A dash of cayenne pepper can also be added if you wish.
Use plain-old, ordinary olive oil, not the cold-pressed or extra-virgin types which would overpower the flavor.
If you have hummus left-over, just mix it all up again, then spread it out again and re-decorate the top with the paprika and oil.
Posted December 1997
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