Hummus

MAKES: 4 to 6 servings

TIME: 15 minutes with cooked chickpeas

A Middle Eastern classic that’s become a standby dip or spread in many homes in the United States, hummus has that distinctive chickpea flavor mixed with the nuttiness of tahini. Make it as nutty, garlicky, lemony, or spiced as you like; I love it with lots of lemon juice. It’s also great with a good sprinkling of zaвatar (to make your own, see Zaвatar).

If you’re serving this as a dip, you may need to add more of the bean-cooking liquid (or water) to thin it adequately so that items can be dipped in.

2 cups drained well-cooked or canned chickpeas, bean-cooking liquid reserved if possible

1/2 cup tahini with some of its oil if you like, or more to taste

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for garnish

2 cloves garlic, peeled, or to taste

Juice of 1 lemon, plus more as needed

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon ground cumin or paprika, or to taste, plus a sprinkling for garnish

Chopped parsley leaves for garnish

Put the chickpeas, tahini, plus oil if you’re using it, olive oil, garlic, and lemon juice in a food processor, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and begin to process; add chickpea-cooking liquid or water as needed to allow the machine to produce a smooth pure.

Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more salt, pepper, tahini, garlic, or lemon juice as desired. Serve, drizzled with some olive oil and sprinkled with a bit of cumin and some parsley.

Variations

Edamame Hummus. Beautiful green and full of flavor: Substitute cooked edamame for the chickpeas and cilantro for the parsley if you like. Omit the cumin or paprika.

Lima Hummus. Use fresh lima beans if you have them, but frozen are good too: Substitute cooked lima beans for the chickpeas; lime juice for the lemon; and cilantro for the parsley.