As I pondered the question, I realized the craving had more to do with wanting food that not only tastes good but which also gives me the sense of eating light and healthy. After all, this savory dish is full of protein, calcium, and healthy fats. So a hummus mood can strike in the summer heat, after a holiday season of heavy eating, or just when I want something easy, quick, filling, nutritious and delicious.
In case you’re wondering, The Picky Eater doesn’t like hummus. In fact, I can’t even get him to try it. He keeps saying it’s one of those “New England foods,” which is what he says any time I try to introduce a strange-to-him dish to our menu. I did get his nephew to give it a try at a restaurant last year and he loved it! So I know my husband’s hummus aversion doesn't run in the family genes.
Yes, you can buy hummus ready-made in the store. I’ve done it many times. But when you make your own at home, you get to adjust the flavors and seasoning to fit your tastes. For example, I like two cloves of garlic in my recipe, but you may want less (or more!) Also, this time I added fresh parsley and cayenne pepper to the mix, which I loved and now will be a part of my regular hummus recipe—at least until I think of something else to add. And diced green onions make a nice garnish and add wonderful flavor to the basic recipe.
I like to serve hummus with toasted pita wedges and fresh veggies. The hummus will last for a few days in the refrigerator. I’ve also heard it can be frozen, but I never have enough left to try it out.
HummusAdapted from The Big Book of Appetizers by Meredith Deeds and Carla Snyder
Makes 2 cups
2 15-ounce cans garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed2 clove garlic, chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus more to taste
2 tablespoons tahini
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1/4 to 1/2 cup Italian parsley leaves (optional)
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste (optional)
Diced green onions, for garnish (optional)
In a food processor, add all of the ingredients and blend until smooth. Taste to adjust the seasoning, adding more salt or lemon juice as necessary. If the mixture is too thick, add water a tablespoons at a time until it reaches the desired consistency. Store covered in the refrigerator.