I didn’t grow up eating hummus. I first tasted this healthy, Egyptian spread while on a family vacation in Egypt. After settling into our hotel, the palatial Mena House, we headed for the terrace for a bite to eat. Gazing out at the breathtaking, so-close-we could-almost-touch-them, Great Pyramids of Giza, we felt blessed to be in such a magical place. To say it was a surreal experience would be an understatement.
Along with other local foods we sampled on our first night was a thick paste made of cooked, mashed chickpeas, sesame seeds (tahini), olive oil, garlic, lemon and salt. It was delicious but, I always (almost) enjoy new foods when eating them for the first time in the place they originated.
Hummus is very easy to prepare and is worth making your own at home. Most of the store-bought varieties contain unhealthy vegetable oils (read the label).
- 1 cup chickpeas, cooked or canned
- 2 tablespoons tahini (ground sesame seeds)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 cloves roasted garlic, mashed
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for pouring on top
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- In a food processor, combine chickpeas (if using canned, drain and rinse), tahini and lemon juice.
- Add the garlic and olive oil and then pulse until it becomes a smooth, spreadable consistency. Taste and then add the salt (less if you used canned chickpeas, more if it suits you). If you prefer it a bit thinner, add water 1 teaspoon at a time.
- Transfer hummus to a shallow bowl and add a generous drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil to the top. Serve with warm pita bread, crackers or baguette slices, or raw vegetables.