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Classic Hummus

Smoked paprika adds the perfect vibrant red, finishing touch!

I ate a lot of hummus growing up. PB&J may have been my grade school staple, but hummus was definitely my high school jam. I’d eat a hummus sandwich for lunch nearly everyday, seemingly never growing tired of the creamy spread slathered between wheat. At the beginning of each week, I’d break out the food processor and whip up a huge batch, of course snacking on tons of carrots and hummus along the way.

I continue to love hummus, although up until just recently, it had been awhile since I had made it myself. I’ve been guilty of buying tubs of my favorite Sabra at the grocery store for exorbitant prices. But, after gratefully opening up a spankin’ new food processor for Christmas, I knew it was time to start making hummus again myself. So this past week, that is what I happily did.

I like to make my hummus a little more on the stiff side because I most often use it for filling sandwiches. But if you’re looking for a creamier-styled dip, simply add an extra tablespoon or two of tahini and a little more chick pea water.

Classic Hummus

-1 large clove garlic, or 2 small ones
-3 1/2 Tbsp. lemon juice
-1-14.5 oz. can chick peas, drained and rinsed, reserving liquid
-1/4 cup sesame tahini
-1/2 tsp. cumin
-1/4 tsp. paprika
-1/4 tsp. salt
-1/4 cup parsley

Chop garlic in food processor. Add chick peas, tahini, lemon juice, and spices. Process until smooth. Add parsley and pulse until combined. Serve with mixed crudites, pita, crackers, and/or bread, and top with a sprinkle of paprika and minced parsley, if desired.

Chickpea Olive Tapenade

Christmas is over, but that means it’s just a week till New Years. Which also means tons of holiday parties are still on their way! Appetizers are one of my favorite items to make, and they work perfectly for social gatherings. Tapenade is one of these┬áhors d’oeuvres that I’ll be setting out this year.

I’m not a huge olive fan, but there’s something about tapenade that I absolutely love. And in a few chick peas, and this salty, olivey spread somehow turns me into an olive’s biggest promoter.

Smear the spread on your favorite cracker or small piece of bread, and you’ve got a compact finger food packed full of flavor. Enjoy.

Chickpea Olive Tapenade

-2 garlic cloves, peeled
-1 1/2 cups oil-cured olives (I like to use a mix of black and green)
-2 Tbsp. capers
-2 Tbsp. lemon or lime
-1/4 cup olive oil
-1 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
-1 cup chick peas, plus 1/2 cup set aside
-1/4 cup pimentos or chopped roasted red peppers
-Freshly ground pepper

Process garlic cloves in food processor. Add olives, capers, lemon/lime, thyme, and 1 tbsp. olive oil. Puree into a smooth paste. Add 1 cup chickpeas, and puree while drizzling in remaining olive oil. Remove paste from food processor. Stir in remaining chick peas and pimentos. Season with freshly ground pepper. Serve with crackers, crudites, pita, or crusty bread.