Hummus is a traditional Middle Eastern bean dip that goes great as a dip for fresh vegetables or pita bread.
My favorite way to eat it is with toasted pita triangles. I just buy premade pita bread and cut it into wedges and spread the wedges out on a baking sheet. Drizzle very lightly with olive oil or olive oil cooking spray and toast them lightly under the broiler. I turn them and toast the other sides. I like them a little crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside. This is a great starter to a dinner party or part of an appetizer party.
If you want regular hummus, just omit the roasted red peppers.
Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
Yield: Makes about 3 cups
3 cloves garlic, peeled & chopped
2 cups canned garbanzo beans (chick-peas), drained & liquid reserved
1/2 cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup chopped drained roasted red peppers from jar
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
½ t salt, to taste
1 T cumin
¼ t cayenne pepper
Put everything in a food processor and begin to process; add chickpea liquid or water until you reach a smooth puree.
Serve drizzled with additional olive oil.
* You can find tahini paste in most large grocery stores, as well as at Asian and Indian grocers. If you can’t find it, here’s how to make it yourself:
Yields: 1 cup
1 cup sesame seeds
¼ cup olive oil
Spread sesame seeds onto a baking sheet and toast at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, stirring often to brown evenly. Do not allow seeds to get too dark as they will taste bitter.
Remove sesame seeds from oven and allow them to cool. Once cool, place sesame seeds and half of the oil in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Process for a minute or so, then stop and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Continue processing and while processor is running, drizzle in the remaining oil. Stop and scrape down the sides again. Process one more time for even consistency, for 1 more minute.