Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Humble Hummus

A simple bowl of hummus with some assorted crudites for dipping may not be the flashiest appetizer around, but it is so simple and satisfying.  Underneath the lemon zest and cilantro garnish, this hummus has just the right balance of flavors and a nice smooth texture.  Play around with the amounts of garlic, lemon, cumin, and coriander until you find a ratio that suits your tastes.
It is hard to go back to the plastic containers in the grocery store once you have tried homemade hummus!

The amounts listed are approximate, and I always end up adding a little of this or that depending on how it tastes, so trust your instincts!

1 15-oz can garbanzo beans, drained and liquid reserved
2 tbsp tahini
1-2 tbsp lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
generous pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
1 tsp olive oil
2 tbsp chopped cilantro
1/2 tsp lemon zest

Stir together the lemon juice, tahini, cumin, coriander,  and cayenne (if using) and set aside.
In a food processer, pulse the garbanzos and garlic until coarsely pureed.  Add the lemon juice mixture and pulse a few more times, then add the salt.  
With the machine running, pour in about 1/4 cup of the liquid reserved from draining the beans.  If necessary, add liquid until you reach a desired consistency. 
Taste, and add more lemon, salt, or spice if necessary.  
Transfer to a bowl, gently stir in the olive oil, and top with cilantro and zest.

Serve with carrots, cucumbers, sugar snap peas, or pita chips.

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