I LOVE hummus. What better way to greet friends coming to town than by making three kinds of hummus and setting it out upon their arrival?
To make the regular hummus:
1 can chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1/2 cup tahini
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 lemon, squeezed
1 Tbsp. cumin
1 tsp. cayenne
1 Tbsp. ground black pepper
paprika, extra chickpeas, for garnish
To make roasted red pepper hummus, add:
1 jar roasted red peppers
1 extra Tbsp. cayenne
To make the black olive hummus add:
1 can black olives
1 extra Tbsp. ground black pepper
Start by draining the chickpeas, holding back on a Tbsp. or so of liquid. Add this to the food processor along with the lemon juice and tahini.
Give the beans a few quick pulses and add the remaining ingredients. Blend well on high for about two minutes, less if you like a chunky, more if you like your dip smooth.
If the hummus is dry and clumping, add in more olive oil, as needed.
WARNING: This “original” hummus interpretation may leave you breathing garlic for several hours after your brush your teeth, but it is so worth it. Spread it on a sandwich, dip in some pita chips or my all-time favorite: blue corn chips. It’s easy to make, so if you are on appetizer duty for the holidays, this won’t break the bank (in which you can leave out the tahini, which can be pricy, and add in a little more olive oil). I like hint of cayenne spice in mine, which is a nice addition to the mediterranean mix of lemons and cumin.
While making the roasted red pepper version, the jar will have a garlic clove inside the red peppers. Add that in with the original two cloves of garlic. This version comes out much smoother and watery than the regular, so you won’t need to add as much olive oil as the previous rendition.
The roasted red peppers, though still garlicky, came out surprisingly sweet. By adding in more cayenne, your mouth turns from sweet to heat. I also really enjoy how this variant is almost creamy in texture. It’s due to the fact that the jarred red peppers soften over time in the preserves. The blue corn chips were extra enticing with the palatable nature of this dip because they also have a hint of sweetness. Multi-grain tortilla’s would also create a pleasing taste combination. The bright orange color of this version is also
For the black olive version, drain the olives well and add in with the chickpeas. Add in the rest of the ingredients. This one will be a tad more moist than the original, but not much more, so you may need to add in more olive oil.
If you enjoy savory foods, the black olive hummus is for you. The addition of the salty black olives to the wholesome chickpeas, garlic and cumin union creates an authentic Mediterranean flavor palate (Try Kalamata olives for the real deal). The olives chunk up, and never really break down to a smooth solid, but the specks of black throughout the beige background spark a slight visual interest just asking your mouth to dive in.
Say your hosting a party, just whip these three up, place them in matching decorative bowls with three kinds of dippers (pretzels, blue corn chips and pita chips). Accessorize your hummus with extra chickpeas, sliced black olives, paprika, or a few chips. Set out when your guests are ready to arrive. For their benefit, also set out Lifesaver Wintergreen Mints or York Peppermint Patties.