The Arabic word hummusحمّص means chickpeas or garbanzo beans. It’s the main player in the popular Middle Eastern dip of the same name. Add some tahini (sesame butter), lemon juice, red pepper for a nice blush, and a garlic clove, a bit of olive oil and water, sprinkle in salt and a dash or two of cayenne pepper for a bit of zing, top with a small handful of pine nuts, and you have an easy and tasty dip for a crudite plate or pita bread spread.
I got my beans from a local Middle Eastern market (Indus Foods in Berkeley) for 33 cents; the whole dip cost about $1, much cheaper and fresher than shelling out $4 for the commercial version.
1 clove garlic
1/4 fresh red bell pepper. Roasted red peppers work well also – use one.
1 15-oz can garbanzo beans, drained
¼ cup tahini
¼ cup lemon juice (one medium lemon)
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil, plus 1 Tb to pour on top.
1 Tb water
shake of cayenne to taste
¼ tsp salt, to taste
2-3 Tb toasted pine nuts (pignolias)
1 teaspoon finely chopped cilantro to garnish
Peel garlic and mince in food processor using blade. Add rest of ingredients except pine nuts, and run processor for at least a minute until hummus is smooth. Sprinkle pine nuts on top. If desired, pour a bit of olive oil on top and garnish with cilantro.
Makes a great sandwich spread on pita or olive bread with cucumber slices.