Recipe: Hummus

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Once you make your own hummus at home, you'll never want to buy the pre-packaged store-bought stuff every again. It's simple, quick, cheap, and doesn't even take that much effort to clean up the mess.

Here’s my recipe.

2 cups chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans), boiled, and skins removed
juice of one lemon
1 tablespoon or more tahini (sesame paste)
2 cloves of garlic
salt to taste
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
olive oil 
Garnish: 6-12 whole chickpeas, paprika, olive oil 
If using dried chickpeas, just make sure to thoroughly cook them first. You can speed up the cooking time by soaking them overnight in cold water. Remove the skins after cooking by simply putting them in fresh water and rubbing the beans between your fingertips. They'll slide off and float the top. If the skins are still on, it's not a big deal, as the recipe will still turn out just fine.

In a food processor, grind down the chickpeas, lemon juice, and tahini until it starts to turn into a chunky paste. If you don't like the taste of raw garlic (I'm not a fan of it), you can slice or chop the garlic first and sautee it lightly in a small pan with olive oil. Otherwise, rough chop it and add it to the food processor, along with a pinch of salt, and the paprika and cayenne pepper. Blend it again, and then with the motor running, add a few tablespoons of water, then olive oil until you get the consistency you want. (To reduce the fat and calories, just use more water and less olive oil.)

Serve room temperature or slightly warm, and garnish with a few whole chickpeas, a dusting of paprika, and a good glug of olive oil.

This recipe is entirely flexible. You can add any other ingredients and flavorings that you like, such as roasted red peppers, sun dried tomatoes, more garlic, more lemon, lemon zest, olives, parsley, even almonds. Hummus keeps in the refrigerator more than a week.