Fresh pita with grilled chicken, cucumber and hummus.
The very first time I ever had hummus I was probably crazy about it, but then came the whole hummus-dipped 90’s where EVery SINgle party you went to there was enough hummus around to stucco a ceiling. My sister and I still laugh about a pot luck/wine tasting we did where 8 of the 9 couples brought hummus and pita. Try paring that with wine.
But seriously, don’t people go a little overboard with the whole hummus thing? Is it some kind of unspoken entertaining lore that if you serve a mountain of hummus, you hold the key to a great party? I mean, people really devote themselves to this chick-pea puree: I’ve seen the hummus blog (where people are called hummus brothers), recipes for hummus lasagna, and there’s even a restaurant called the Hummus Place in
It also bugs me that everyone has the BEST hummus recipe and they, only they, hold the key to great hummus. These people think they are saving the world one carrot stick at a time. Of course having tasted store bought hummus, anyone can throw some chickpeas, lemon juice and olive oil in a blender and it’s going to taste a heck of a lot better. One could even add the shrivelled up scrapings from the bottom of the vegetable drawer and it would still probably taste better. Just go nuts with the lemon juice.
But all that said, I found myself with a nice basket of fresh pitas last week and decided to whip up a batch of hummus!( I never said I disliked it, I just don’t consider it a necessary condiment for day to day life.) I like the recipe from the Silver Palate Cookbook, but am puzzled as to why it is listed in the ‘Basics” chapter among such recipes as ‘Chicken Stock’ and ‘Pie Crust’. Since when is hummus is a basic? A staple? Are they teaching hummus making in Home-Ec class now?
I guess that proves my point that people take their hummus a little too seriously.
Toast and grind your own cumin seed for this hummus and I guarantee you will have a dip to rival the other 1.3 million recipes. Who’s to say?
Hummus Bi Tahini
4 cups (about 2 ½ cans) chick-peas, drained
½ cup tahini
1/3 cup warm water
1/3 cup olive oil
Juice of 3 lemons
4 or more garlic cloves, peeled and germ removed
1 ½ teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons ground cumin seed
freshly ground pepper, to taste
Combine chick-peas, tahini, warm water, olive oil, and juice of 1 lemon in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Process until smooth and creamy.
Add garlic, salt, cumin, and pepper to taste, and process to blend. Taste and correct seasoning if necessary. Add more lemon juice to taste. Scrape into storage container and refrigerate until ready to use.