Day Two of the World Tour: The Middle East. Or at least I think so. It seems that hummus has been around so long, since pre-history even, that its origins aren’t exactly clear. It is most widely credited to the Middle East, though, so that’s what I’m going with. If you’re interested in a brief history lesson on the subject, check out this site – The Straight Dope: Fighting Ignorance Since 1973 (its taken longer than we thought).
I was first introduced to hummus by my former college roommate when she and I used to meet in Charlotte to go shopping. There was a little restaurant at the mall that served rolled-up sandwiches cut in slices, the name escapes me (Shellee?). You could get tabbouleh, hummus and pita chips on the side and those were the stars of the place, really. I was hooked. I don’t think I realized at the time what it was made from, but beans are one of those foods most Southerners grow up eating in various sizes, shapes, and forms, so it made perfect sense to me.
After buying it at the store for many years, I decided to try my hand at making it, which I tend to do with most things. The tahini, or sesame seed paste, was the one ingredient that I had to look for, but now you can find it at just about every grocery store. Hummus Dip is really easy to make and you can add in spices to your liking. You can use dried beans that you cook yourself, or you can used canned, they both work. Put some pine nuts on top for extra goodness.
This is the most delicious recipe I’ve tried, and I might just stop looking. Middle Eastern or not, it’s origin is the back of the dried garbanzo bean bag from Publix.
from Publix Apron’s Simple Meals
makes 1 & 2/3 cups
- 3 cloves fresh garlic
- 1 1/2 cups cooked, drained garbanzo beans
- up to 1/2 cup water
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 2 tablespoons vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tablespoon paprika
- Mince garlic in blender or food processor.
- Blend in beans, adding water in small amounts, until pureed (may not use all of water).
- Add tahini, lemon juice, vinegar, cumin, and salt.
- Add more water if needed, for desired consistency.
- Place in serving dish; then drizzle with oil and sprinkle with paprika.