Monday, September 28, 2009

Hummus with Tahini



This dip is quick and easy to make, delicious, and healthy. No cooking involved. Just grab the blender and go. Chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans) and tahini (a paste made from roasted sesame seeds) combine to make a tasty appetizer to serve with wedges of pita bread. A favorite in Greek restaurants outside Greece (see note below the recipe).

The key to great hummus is to let the flavor of the chickpeas come through, rather than be overwhelmed by the lemon (it's easy to get too much lemon taste).
Prep Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients:

· 2 1/2 cups of canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
· 1/3 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice
· 1/4 cup of tahini
· 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
· 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil
· 1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin
· 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
· pinch of freshly ground black pepper
· 1 teaspoon of salt
· 1/3 cup of water
· parsley and olive oil to garnish

Preparation:

Put 1/2 the lemon juice and all ingredients into the blender except the chickpeas (and the parsley and oil for garnish) and blend for 5 seconds. Add the chick peas and blend on high until it reaches the the consistency of sour cream, but granular, about 10-15 seconds. Blend in remaining lemon juice to taste. If the dip is too thick but you don't want to add more lemon juice, add a little water slowly and blend until it reaches the correct consistency.
Transfer to a serving bowl, cover and refrigerate for a few hours before serving. (It can be eaten immediately, but becomes even more flavorful if left to chill well.)
Drizzle of olive oil over the top and add a garnish of parsley or black olives before serving. Serve with pita wedges or slices of whole grain breads.
Note: Be sure to rinse the canned chickpeas well to clear away the taste of any ingredients used in the canning process.
About Hummus and Greek Food: Hummus is a dip/spread that is made from chickpeas. In fact, hummus is the Arabic word for chickpea. You may notice that many hummus recipes call for garbanzo beans, not chickpeas. Don't worry, garbanzo is the Spanish translation of chickpea. They are called cece beans in Italy.

Hummus is one of the oldest foods dating back to ancient Egypt. We know that chickpeas were used quite frequently over 7,000 years ago.

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