Sunday, May 2, 2010

Easy Hummus

Like many busy people out there, I take time on the weekend to prepare food that will get me through the long days and hectic schedules that are my reality Monday through Friday. It's something that I started doing when I went back to school full time so that I'd have something decent to consume for my treks across town to campus where classes and work have kept me for up to 10 hours at a stretch.  Ten hours.  That's at least two meal times and a snack. My budget won't let me eat out more than once a week, and my food sensitivities and distaste for deep-fried-everything keep me away from the school's cafeteria (it is sickening what they serve to students). In order to avoid this classroom-coronary-waiting-to-happen 'food', I end up toting along a second bag with containers full of home-cooked meals, fruit and DIY trail mix. It's a lot to carry, honestly, but well worth the effort in the end.

Luckily, this quarter my time on campus is below the 8 hour mark, so lunch and a snack are all I need to haul with me. On Sundays I usually whip up a pot or a skillet full of something. Sometimes a rice dish, sometimes a salad, or, as of late, a big batch of hummus.

I love this creamy spread for it's simplicity and versatility. There are so many ways to go with this one: roasted veggies, cilantro, chilis, olives, hummous, hummus... which ever way you do it (or spell it), it's one amazing dish. I've been working on perfecting my recipe for a fairly traditional-style hummus. I think today's batch was my best yet. Try it for yourself.

Classic Hummus

2 C. cooked garbanzos (I cook my own, so the measurement is NOT equal to a 15oz. can)
3 T. olive oil
3 T. tahini
juice of 1 lemon
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cumin
10 T. water
sprinkle of paprika for garnish (optional)

Add the first 7 ingredients to your food processor, turn that puppy on and process until the mixture starts to form a ball, scraping down the sides of the bowl a few times. Turn off the machine, add 5 T. of water and then process some more.

At this point the mixture will start to thin out some.  With the processor running, add the remaining water, 1 T. at a time.  Stop and scrape the sides down a few more times as you're adding the water.  Taste your creation and season further if you like.  If the hummus is still too thick for your liking, add a tablespoon or 2 more water and continue to process.

Scrape it out into a serving bowl and garnish with paprika, if using.  Serve with fresh veggies, or pita, or slather onto bread as a tasty sandwich spread.  Share it with hungry friends or horde it all to yourself (that's what I do!).  I'm having mine with tortilla chips this time around. And  probably a finger dip or two.

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