My husband and I are definitely not a match made in culinary heaven. He grew up on hamburger helper and standard “meat and potatoes” fare, while I was raised in a vegetarian household where borscht and homemade sushi made regular appearances on the dinner table.
Our brief courtship was an exercise in compromise. Mike helped me discover a dormant love of barbecue ribs, while I encouraged him to do crazy things like add tomatoes to his turkey sandwiches. Still, after deciding to get married I honestly wondered if his picky eating habits and my love of gastronomical experimentation would ever mesh into a coherent dinner menu.
The turning point came one afternoon shortly after Mike and I got engaged. We were on our way to a Utah football game with friends and stopped at the grocery store for some gametime snacks, one of the selections being a tub of hummus and pita bread. I thought there was no way Mike would touch the stuff with a ten-foot pole, but not five minutes later the guy who won’t eat cream cheese or onions was proclaiming his love for Middle Eastern chickpea spread. Since then he’s been converted to sushi, margherita pizza, curry, and a number of other foods that were previously on the WILL NOT EAT list. Apparently hummus is one heck of a gateway drug.
This is a very basic recipe for hummus. I’ve kept the seasoning amounts to a minimum, since you can always put more spices in but you can’t take them out. So just start with these amounts and adjust at the end. This recipe would also be terrific with the addition of some sundried tomatoes or other colorful ingredients. I see a roasted red pepper and kalamata olive variation in my future.
1 (15 oz.) can garbanzo beans
¼ cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 garlic clove, pressed
½ tsp. ground cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
1) Drain garbanzo beans, reserving the liquid.
2) Blend beans, 2 tablespoons of the reserved liquid, and remaining ingredients until smooth. (I used my immersion blender, but you could use a regular blender or food processor)
3) Add liquid until desired consistency is reached.
4) Adjust seasonings to taste.
5) Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of paprika, if desired.
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