Satisfying Snacks: Homemade hummus

Yield: 8 servings


1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 large head of garlic

2 15-ounce cans chickpeas/garbanzo beans (about 3 cups),

liquid drained and reserved

1/4 cup tahini (sesame paste)

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

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 2 lemons)

3/4 teaspoon salt, plus additional to taste

1/4 teaspoon cayenne

3-4 tablespoons reserved liquid from canned chickpeas, plus additional as needed

Paprika and minced fresh parsley, for garnish (optional)

Homemade pita wedges, pita chips, crackers, and/or raw vegetable crudité, for serving

Method of Preparation:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. To prepare the garlic: Peel away the outer skin of the head of garlic while leaving all of the cloves intact. Cut a half-inch slice off the top of the head of garlic so that the cloves are exposed; discard the top. Set the head of garlic on a square of foil, drizzle with one tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, and wrap in the foil. Place in a pan and roast for 40 minutes. Carefully open the top of the foil packet and use a sharp knife to pierce down into a clove; the garlic should be completely softened and golden brown. If it's not, re-wrap the foil and continue to roast, checking every five minutes or so, until garlic is done. Unwrap the garlic and set aside to cool.

3. Once the garlic is cool enough to handle, squeeze the resulting garlic paste into the bowl of a high-powered blender or large food processor. Add the drained chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and cayenne, plus 3 tablespoons of the reserved chickpea liquid. Puree until smooth, adding additional chickpea liquid 1 tablespoon at a time until a desirable consistency is reached. Continue to puree for another minute or two until completely smooth, scraping down the sides as needed and seasoning with additional salt to taste, if necessary. At this point, you may discard any leftover reserved chickpea liquid.

4. Transfer the hummus to a serving dish and swirl the surface. Drizzle the top with extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkle with paprika and minced parsley.

5. Serve with pita wedges or chips, crackers, and/or vegetable crudité.

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