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Summery Hummus Summary

Hummus was always one of those things that when I was younger I had no idea what was in it, but I still liked eating. When I was later told that the main ingredient is chick peas I remember thinking, "Chick peas? So that's what they're used for."

Of course I'd had them on salads a few times, but I never understood why they had them in such great abundance at the grocery store. "People sure are eating a lot of salad these days," I'd say. No, people were making quart upon quart of hummus!

Well, probably not that either. I still don't know what the number one use of the chick pea is in America, but I'm guessing minestrone. Or maybe there's just a lot of sad people who eat cold garbanzos out of the can.

The Ingredients
So here's a shot of all the ingredients that went into our hummus. There's chick peas, tahini, a head of roasted garlic, two(2) cloves raw garlic, chives, roasted red peppers, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

Outside of the tahini, all of this stuff is pretty inexpensive. Roasted red peppers can be pricey, but only if you let them.

We went with Cento™ brand peppers and they worked out fine for about $1.79. Unless you're eating the peppers raw or on a sammich, I wouldn't worry too much about rockin' the top-shelf.

The Roasted Garlic
We went the lazy route with the garlic and just chopped off the top of a whole head. You pour some olive oil on there, wrap it in foil and pop it in a hot oven until the garlic is all soft.

When it's ready, squeeze out the roasted cloves and voila! If you didn't know, "voila" is French for "your hands will smell like garlic for a week." I honestly do not mind that.

Oh, and when I said "we went the lazy route" it's because usually we'd sit and peel about 20 cloves of garlic and then roast those.

You will lose an ever-so-tiny amount of garlic by chopping off the top. But if that 8¢ is really going to break you, this may not be the recipe you want.

Chick Peas & Tahini: They're Cops
When your garlic is all set to go, bust two (2) cans of chick peas along with two (2) tablespoons of the tahini into your food processor. If you don't have a food processor, I really hope you're good with a fork. Blend until smooth.

If you've let your tahini sit up in the cabinet for a good while, you'll notice that it's separated into the oil and what I assume is some sort of sesame paste. Good lord is it a bitch to re-incorporate that stuff.

The worst part is that the first pass you make you'll probably overdo it and end up with a shirt-front full of sesame oil (not that that happened to either of us). Good times!

And the Rest
Once the proto-hummus is smooth, throw in the raw garlic, chives, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Keep on a-blendin'.

Don't forget that as you're blending you'll need to push down the hummus from the sides to keep it all going. That's actually a pretty good way to tell that it's almost done. When we did it, it became so smooth that by the end it wasn't sticking to the walls of the processor at all.

We added in the red peppers last. No particular reason, but it's cool to see the hummus go from tan to pink as you blend them in. There's about half a small can in there, maybe a bit over half.

You might be saying to yourself, "That's a lot of peppers, hope that doesn't make it too hot." Nope! You'll know from the first bite that what's making it hot is the utterly insane amount of garlic in there. Mostly those two raw cloves.

I'm serious, this stuff has a wicked garlic flavor. And once you put it in the fridge and let it cool and all those flavors start to concentrate, it gets even stronger.

Maybe I should have mentioned that earlier.

Now We Eat
Usually we'd have it on a bagel or in a pita or in some other culturally-aware way. But until today we were without a toaster which counted out the bagel, and we didn't really have many other ingredients to make a proper pita. So it was tortilla chips for us!

They eat hummus in Mexico, right?

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Copyright © 2005-2013 Graham Cranfield