I’m not sure the first time I had hummus, I’m sure it was when I was a child. Growing up in the New York Metro area provided my family with the opportunity to try a variety of cuisines and Middle Eastern cuisine was on our list.
Hummus is a go-to dish for me to take to parties or when I have guests over for wine. I always have the ingredients on hand so I can make it even when surprise company arrives. This time of year I find myself making it to take to all of the holiday parties I go to. No only is it inexpensive to make but it is easy to make, it’s versatile and it is a lot healthier than many dips. The dip is high in protein, fiber, vitamin C and is gluten and dairy free so what more can you ask for?
The main ingredient in hummus is chickpeas also called garbanzo beans. This legume has been a staple of most Middle Eastern diets for over 10,000 years. The earliest recorded example of hummus is in a 13th century Arabic cookbook. The early Arabic recipe used vinegar instead of lemon juice and also added nuts such as walnuts, almonds, and pistachio nuts. Today, this Middle Eastern staple is found and loved all over the world.
Over the years I tried to make my hummus as smooth in texture as found in restaurants and delis. But just taking the beans and putting them into the food processor with lemon juice, tahini, and garlic resulted in a coarse, dense dip that wasn’t like the dip found in restaurants. A few years ago our friends at Cook’s Illustrated Magazine published the ultimate restaurant style hummus recipe in their May 1, 2008 edition. One try and this recipe became my base recipe for hummus and all of the variations I make and I’m sure you will agree once you try it.