April 10, 2010

Robust Hummus

Another use for garbanzo beans...

This hummus is simple to make, and it tastes superb. Serve it as a dip with crackers, chips, or pieces of pita or naan. Or spread it inside a pita "pocket" with spinach and chicken--whatever you like--and eat it like a sandwich.

A basic hummus recipe includes garbanzos, tahini (see note below), olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, and salt. All these ingredients are blended together into a quite thick sauce. My variation adds in some sun-dried tomatoes, baby spinach, lime juice, crushed red pepper flakes, ground cumin, dill weed, and freshly-ground black pepper. Those additions truly enhance the flavor.

What's tahini? Tahini is made from sesame seeds that are roasted and then ground into a gray-brown-colored paste. You can find jars of tahini at most grocery stores (I've bought it at Safeway, and I've seen it at Wal-Mart). Look for it in the "ethnic foods" section--or maybe near the jars of olives and such. Tahini hints at a peanut butter flavor...but it's certainly unique. The texture is thick but somewhat coarse, and you'll notice that the oils in tahini may separate and rise to the top of the jar (that's normal--just stir it a bit when you measure it out).

You'll need a food processor to make this recipe. A blender might work, but I haven't tried it (if you do, let me know how it goes!)

Garnish ideas: Maybe you'll want to garnish a bowl of hummus with something extra, like diced tomatoes, olives, more garbanzo beans, crumbled feta cheese, or freshly-ground black pepper. Or you could make a small well in the middle of the hummus and drizzle some tasty olive oil inside.

Robust Hummus
Estimated preparation time: 15 -20 minutes
Serves: 10

  • One 19 ounce can garbanzo beans (keep the liquid--see instructions below)
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 5 chopped sun-dried tomatoes (packaged in oil)
  • 3 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons tahini
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon dill weed
  • 1 large handful baby spinach leaves
  • Freshly-ground black pepper

1. Open the can of garbanzo beans. Drain the liquid into a measuring cup, reserving it for later. (If you wish to garnish the finished dish with extra beans, now is the time to set some of them aside.)

2. Place garbanzo beans and all other ingredients in a food processor. Add 2 tablespoons of reserved garbanzo bean liquid.
 3. Secure the lid, then blend the ingredients for a few seconds.

4. Check the consistency of the mixture. Add 2 tablespoons more of the reserved liquid.

5. Alternate between processing the mixture and adding more liquid--in 1-tablespoon increments--until the hummus has a thick, spreadable consistency.
 6. Transfer the hummus to a bowl or storage container. Garnish as desired.



CRS said...

I am going to try this one this weekend. I love hummus and I love the idea of the added spinach.

abigail said...

That's great!
Enjoy! :)