Larousse Gastronomique, my all-time favorite food reference, defines hummus as, “An Arabic and Greek dish made from cooked chick peas crushed with sesame paste (tahini), garlic and lemon. Spices and parsley may be added to season the dip. It usually accompanies hors d’oeuvre or crudités.”
Translation – an incredibly simple, versatile, tasty dip that you can serve with crackers or veggie sticks at a fancy dinner party or at the neighborhood potluck. Hummus tastes best after it sits overnight and the flavors have a change to mingle, so it’s a perfect make-ahead dish. If you don’t know how to make hummus, you must learn. (You have 15 minutes, don’t you? That’s all it takes – including dish washing.)
Back to the love of my life – Joe is a pretty traditional male when it comes to food. I most certainly wouldn’t describe him as adventurous. I used to tell him what I was cooking – let’s say I was making quinoa – and his response, with his nose turned up, would be, “Honey, I don’t think I like quinoa, whatever that is.”
He quickly found that he likes many more foods than he ever thought possible. Joe even loves sweet potatoes, leeks, and parsnips! But hummus was a different story. Every time I’d make this slightly nutty Mediterranean dip, he’d take a bite and say, “Honey, I really don’t like hummus.”
I wasn’t going to give up, though. I went through at least eight different versions until I finally came up with one he loves. Now, when he finds out I’m making hummus he says, “Honey, is it your hummus?” He’s really asking if this is the hummus I make just for him. I smile, say yes, and watch him go back for seconds and thirds.
You can use this basic recipe to add any flavors or spices to your own hummus. I also love Roasted Red Pepper Hummus – The Budding Cook has a great recipe you should check out.
This is a not just any old hummus. This is hummus that will win over even picky eaters, like my knight in shining armor, Joe.
Find more healthier appetizers at Life As A Mom’s Ultimate Recipe Swap.
Update: May 28, 2010 – this recipe is linked to The Wholesome Whole Foods Carnival at Health Food Lover.