Do you remember the first time you ate hummus? I was in New York City and my friend took me to The Hummus Place. In true Big Apple style, this is another restaurant about the size of my closet located in the oh-so-cool West Village. Even though I was a little skeptical of this beige mushy concoction, I felt the need to fit in with all the hipsters so I put on my game face. It only took one dip with a piece of pita and I was in love.
Hummus is such a versatile dish. Need a healthy snack? A spread for a sandwich? A fun appetizer for a dinner party? Hummus is the answer. Of course you can buy it practically everywhere now, but it is so easy to make. Since I usually end up with a big batch, I thought it would be fun to split it into 3 servings with different flavors. You could pick anything that tickles your fancy – bell peppers, artichoke hearts, etc. I just picked 3 of my favorite foods: olives, jalapenos*, and garlic. Delicious! And did I mention that this is easy?
*Well, I was going to use jalapenos, but then I got the grocery store and was led astray by the hatch chiles. ‘Tis the season after all.
Hummus 3 Ways
- Two 15 ounce cans chickpeas**
- 1/2 cup tahini
- 1 head of garlic and 1 clove roughly chopped
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Juice of 1 1/2 lemons
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- Pinch of paprika
- 2 Hatch chiles
- Handful of cilantro, chopped
- 1/2 cup mixed Greek olives, pitted
- 2-3 sprigs of thyme
- Pita bread
Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a small baking pan with foil. Cut the top of the head of garlic off so that each clove shows a little. Place the garlic and the 2 hatch chiles on the pan and drizzle with olive oil (don’t be shy on the garlic!). Take another small piece of foil and place the olives in the center with a few sprigs of thyme. Wrap the olives in a tight package and place on the baking pan. Roast for 20 minutes and then turn on the broiler for the last 5-10 minutes/until the chiles and garlic look nice and toasted. Turn the chiles at least once. Remove and cool. Meanwhile combine the chickpeas, tahini, garlic, 1/4 cup of warm water, lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, cumin, and 1 teaspoon of salt in a food processor. Pulse until creamy. Take out 2/3 of the hummus.
When the chiles are ready, slice them down the middle. Remove the seeds and peel off the charred skin. Blend them with the first 1/3 of hummus along with the cilantro. Clean the bowl and put in another 1/3 hummus. Discard the thyme sprigs from the olive mixture and put the olives in to blend. Clean the bowl again and put in the last 1/3 of hummus. Squeeze each clove of garlic out into the food processor and blend. Top the chili hummus with extra cilantro, the olive hummus with chopped olives, and the roasted garlic hummus with paprika. And for the final touch, heat up some pita bread for dipping. The hummus bar is open!
**I took the skins off the chickpeas, but I’m not sure how worth it this step is. It’s pretty time consuming, and I’m not sure you would be able to tell once they’re blended in the food processor. But if you feel the need to do this, here’s a little trick: spread out the chickpeas on paper towels and place another paper towel on top. Gently rub the the chickpeas around and the skins will start to loosen/fall off. It won’t get them all, so you’ll still have some squeezing to do. Let me know if you have any suggestions!