Friday, July 29, 2011

Traditional Hummus, Only More Lemony

Hummus is another one of those recipes with 80 million variations. Some are thick, some are thin, some are garlicky, some are lemony, some have added spices or other flavors. I like mine thick, lemony and garlicky with loads of fresh cracked black pepper. I use it for dipping pita chips, crackers and veggies, it can be spread on sandwiches and burgers, or spread it on slices of French or Italian bread, top with Feta cheese and throw it under the broiler for a few minutes--delicious! My next post will feature my favorite flavored hummus!

My husband says this version is too lemony for him. I say there is almost no such thing as too lemony! ;) If you aren't a big lemon fan, omit the zest and go easy on the lemon juice. The zest has a deeper lemony flavor, and it is usually not in a traditional hummus recipe. If you aren't a garlic fan, reduce it to one small clove.

Most traditional hummus recipes call for tahini (a paste made from ground sesame seeds), but I have only been able to find it in one place here in town, and not only is it obvious the jars have been sitting on the shelf a long while by the 1/4 inch of dust they are caked with, they are huge jars I could never use up before they went bad. As I mentioned in my first post ever, I do not like buying expensive ingredients that will rarely get used. So for that reason, I keep sesame seeds on hand and skip the tahini, and I often roast them to intensify their nutty flavor. If you can find or already use tahini, use that instead of the sesame seeds. If you don't care about the sesame flavor, skip 'em both! ;)

I find that most often, canned (non-organic) chickpeas/garbanzo beans are cheaper than the dried/bagged at my usual grocery store. The organic canned variety are only about $.30 more than the dried/bagged. I seem to always find lemons on sale, and they are fairly cheap anyway. I buy sesame seeds in a pretty small package, so my initial investment is usually right around a dollar. All in all, a super cheap and healthful snack!

Traditional Hummus, Only More Lemony

1 15 oz can chickpeas/garbanzo beans (or 1 cup dried, prepared according to pkg directions)
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp sesame seeds or tahini
1 tsp lemon zest
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Kosher salt to taste
Fresh cracked black pepper to taste
Warm water as needed

Step 1: If you wish to roast the sesame seeds, place them in a small skillet over low to medium low heat, depending on your stove. Shake the pan or stir quite often, as they will burn easily because of their small size if you are not careful. When the sesame seeds have just turned a light golden brown, immediately remove from heat and place in a bowl or on a plate so they do not continue to cook.

Step 2: Place all ingredients in blender or food processor and blend/process until smooth. If you need more liquid to get it moving, add warm water a tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is achieved.


Chickpeas/garbanzo beans (organic): 15 oz can = $1.39
Lemon: On sale for $.65, used 1/2 = $.33
Sesame seeds: $.99 for .75 oz package, used 1/2 = $.25

Total Cost: $1.97
Six Servings: $.33 per serving

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