A little background on hummus, it is widely eaten in the Middle East and Mahgreb region as part of the mezze, or cold appeitizers. It is often served alongside warm pita bread and drizzled with olive oil and/or spices like cumin and sumac. Herbs like parsley and mint are also often incorporated on the recipe. There are numerous regional variations that exist, but the base is always chickpeas, lemon, sesame, and garlic. In Egypt, it is sometimes topped with ful, or stewed fava beans. In Jordan, one of the variations is using yogurt instead of tahini and butter instead of olive oil.
Hummus is one of those dishes that everybody loves, or at the very least, ok with it. On most major grocery stores, you can easily find ready-made versions. Some of them are pretty good, but most are just ok. Hummus is so easy to make, and the ingredients are readily available in your pantry, other than the tahini sauce, which you can find at most Middle Eastern/ethnic grocery stores; it makes no sense not to make your own. It’s a very versatile dish and makes for a great base to experiment various flavors. You can add as much garlic or lemon as you want to make the flavors as strong as you want, and if you like your food on the spicy side, it takes heat really well too.
My favorite version of the dish is the fresh and tangy herb version below. I have a slight obsession with parsley and tend to be heavy handed in adding it to my dishes, feel free to adjust as needed. This recipe goes really well with Chicken Shawarma and stores up to a week in an airtight container in the refrigerator. My other favorite version is the Roasted Red Pepper Feta Hummus. It’s a completely different flavor profile but just as good.
1 large (29oz) can of garbanzos, drained, but keep liquid
5 cloves garlic, peeled (adjust to taste, minimum 3 cloves)
¼ c good olive oil
1 c parsley (use just the leaves and top bits, not the chunkier stem)
2 tbsp. tahini
Salt & pepper
½ tsp cayenne pepper (more if you like it with a kick)
Place everything in a food processor and blitz for 30 seconds at a time. If the mixture is too thick, add some of the garbanzo liquid and more olive oil.
Feel free to add more lemon and parsley if you want a stronger flavor.