Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Hummus as cliché? I think not!

They are food clichés for a reason. The reason usually being that they taste really good, everyone and their grandmother starts making it, it's everywhere, and then clichéism rears its mocking head. It might be played and mock away, but you throw a bowl of garlicky hummus in front of me for an appetizer, and I could dip my way through a whole baguette in short order. Last Sunday before dinner, to keep hunger at bay while simultaneously soaking up the alcohol being consumed by friends while the game was on, I whipped up a quick bowl, sprinkled some smoky Spanish paprika on top with a drizzle of olive oil, and didn't see one eye roll coming my way. Of course everyone was too busy stuffing their grills and swilling drinks, so eye rolling would have meant too much multitasking anyway.

The good thing about hummus, besides how freaking easy it is, is you can throw almost anything into the mix and it works. Roasted red peppers, sundried tomatoes, olives, some feta, whatever works for you. Quick, cheap, and delicious...three adjectives I can get with anytime!
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2 cans chickpeas
1/2 cup tahini (sesame paste)
1/4 cup sesame oil from top of tahini container
2 cloves garlic
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste1 tablespoon ground cumin
Juice of one lemon, or more as needed
1/3 cup water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika

In a food processor, blend first six ingredients together. Add water as needed to make a smooth puree. Taste and add more garlic, lemon juice, salt, and pepper as needed. Turn into serving bowl, drizzle with olive oil and paprika. Serve with sliced baguette/rustic bread, pita, crackers, or vegetables.

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