This popular Middle Eastern chickpea spread is high in protein. Hummus freezes well and it’s almost as easy to make a large batch as a small one. It’s a splendid sandwich filling, but it’s also a great dip for fresh vegetables and crackers, dressed up with a garnish of paprika, parsley, and thinly sliced cucumbers. Out of crackers? Cut pita bread into small triangles and pop them into the toaster oven.
2 cups cooked garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
1⁄2 cup lemon juice
2 green onions, chopped (optional)
1 clove garlic, minced
1⁄3 cup tahini (sesame butter)
1 teaspoon salt
Soak one cup of dry garbanzo beans overnight. Cook under pressure for one hour, making sure the beans are completely covered with water the entire time. If you don’t have a pressure cooker, boil the beans in a covered pot for 3–4 hours, or until they mash easily between your fingers. Drain well and save the liquid.
Put the beans, lemon juice, onion, and garlic in a food processor with just enough of the liquid from the beans to blend properly. Add the tahini and salt, and mix well. Tahini will thicken the mixture, so adjust the consistency with the liquid from the beans.
If you’re using a blender, you will probably need to start with a half cup of beans and add the rest in increments to avoid straining the motor. Pour the mixture into a bowl before adding the tahini, and mix well, adding the cooking water from the beans as needed
Nayana Stunkard is an experienced natural foods cook and co-owner of a health food store and deli.