I love hummus. This is both because it is super easy and cheap to make yourself, and because it is addictively delicious. It is not uncommon for me to “accidentally” eat a whole bag of pita chips with copious amounts of my hummus in one sitting. And then have dinner an hour later. Stop judging me, I know I’m not the only one who does that.
More expensive but less yummy hummus
Hummus seems to have become very trendy in the US recently, and there are all sorts of odd varieties now available. My love of hummus, however, started when I was at boarding school in the middle of the countryside of England (think Hogwarts with less magic and more drinking). Although boarding school food is usually thought of as being overwhelmingly inedible, my school actually was known for having very good food. And they fed us roughly 5 times a day, which was awesome. On Wednesdays they did a special salad bar with fancier salads and more variety than usual, and it included hummus. In A2 (otherwise known as upper 6th form in England, senior year in America) we were allowed to get on line for the dining hall before the younger years, and we would get on line 20 minutes early to make sure they didn’t run out of hummus. Seriously, it was that good.
I’ve only recently started making my own hummus in my apartment, but its so easy and so much cheaper than buying the $7 tubs of it that I swear I will never buy it in stores again. And the fun thing is you can put basically whatever you want in it and it will still taste good! The only thing you need is a food processor (I have this mini one in blue: http://tinyurl.com/33lr2qv). I personally like adding roasted red peppers from a jar and lots of basil, but if you make a plain hummus with just garbanzo beans (chickpeas), tahini, garlic, olive oil, and a couple of spices, you can add sundried tomatoes, different herbs, the world is your oyster! I wouldn’t actually add oysters though; I don’t think they would work so well. Here is a loose version of the recipe I use, but I end up changing the spices and add-ins almost every time I make it:
Fresh basil. Yum.
Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
Equipment: Food processor*, spatula, knife
1 can garbanzo beans
1 large or 2 smaller garlic cloves
1/4 cup tahini
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup roasted red peppers (a few big pieces from a jar of them)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 1/4 teaspoon paprika
Big handful fresh basil
Salt and pepper to taste
First wash the garbanzo beans in a colander, then add the peeled garlic and a few chickpeas and some oil to the food processor and blend to break up the garlic. I find doing this first takes away the raw garlic bite as it gets more blended. Then add the rest of the garbanzo beans, the olive oil, and the tahini and blend until quite smooth. Chop up the peppers roughly and add those along with the cumin, paprika, and basil. Blend again until these ingredients are incorporated, and salt and pepper to taste before doing a final blend. You may need to add more or less olive oil depending how smooth you want the final hummus or how well your food processor works. Hummus keeps well for at least a week stored in a sealed container in the fridge.
*Note: If using a mini-processor, this recipe will just fit in it in one batch. But I recommend adding the chickpeas about half at a time so the processor doesn’t decide to die or vomit hummus all over your kitchen.