My Baba’s Hummus…

The Egyptians are not only known for their pyramids—they have also been making and eating hummus for over 7000 years. The word hummus is Arabic for garbanzo bean, and is basically the peanut butter of the Middle East—popular among Egyptians, Palestinians, Lebanese,  Jordanians, and Syrians because it is economical, full of filling protein, and delicious! We serve it along side fresh farmer cheese, pita bread, tomatoes, and pickles for breakfast, topped with braised lamb and pinenuts for a hearty brunch, or draped over falafel or tabbouleh in pita bread for a tasty veggie sandwich at lunch.

 

hummus bruchetta

 

I remember getting strange looks from my classmates when I brought my hummus sandwiches to school—I was quite embarrassed because I wanted to fit in with the other classmates, begging my father for peanut butter and jelly. I had no idea that hummus would become so popular, morphing into various gourmet flavors from pesto to sun dried tomato hummus. Creating hummus from scratch seems to intimidate people for some reason, which is puzzling because there is nothing more simple to make when under a time crunch. In my opinion, no one, I mean no one, makes hummus as good as my father Admon. When I’d hear the whirl of the Cuisinart on Sunday mornings accompanied by his whistling, I knew he was making a fantastically fresh batch of hummus for us to enjoy on a lazy Sunday. And now, you can recreate his spectacular hummus in your own home with this recipe. This is the first in a series of several videos–I would love your feedback!

INGREDIENTS (INSTRUCTIONS IN VIDEO ABOVE)

  • 1   (15-ounce) can chickpeas (preferably organic)
  • 1/3   cup tahini (see Note)
  • 1/3   cup lemon juice, or to taste
  • 1   clove garlic, or to taste
  • 1/8   teaspoon cumin
  • 1   teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 2   tablespoons butter
  • 1/4   cup pine nuts

 

SERVING SUGGESTIONS:

Optional garnishes:

Olive oil, paprika, chopped parsley, olives, pickle and tomato wedges

Pita bread for scooping

Drain chickpeas, reserving about 1/4 cup liquid. Place chickpeas with tahini, lemon juice, garlic, cumin and salt in a food processor and blend until smooth. If hummus is too thick, add some of the reserved liquid until it reaches desired consistency.

Melt butter in a skillet and brown pine nuts in butter.

Place hummus in the center of a large flat plate and spread it toward the edges with a spoon, creating a rimmed mound so you can add the garnishes in the center.

Sprinkle toasted pine nuts on top. If desired, garnish edges with dashes of paprika, chopped parsley and drizzled olive oil, or add pickles and olives.

Note: Tahini is a paste made from ground sesame seeds. Fortunately this paste is now available in some of the larger supermarkets natural-foods stores, but I prefer to buy the brands sold in the small middle eastern stores, as they are usually made in Lebanon or Syria and have a more authentic flavor.

 

Copyright Feast in the Middle East

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