Sunday, November 21, 2010

Hummus and Toasted Pita Chips

Hooray! I have been home for two weeks with my brand new knee and am ready for some cooking action... well, almost. Limited to two trips per day downstairs, and walking with one crutch, I'm not exactly flying around the kitchen. RL calls himself The Butler and has been doing super work as Chief Cook, but today I couldn't resist whipping up a batch of hummus, one of our favorite snacks.

Hummus is a tasty dip for veggies, a heavenly spread for toasted pita bread wedges, and a terrific addition to a sandwich of grilled vegetables. I'll even confess to enjoying it straight off the spoon. It's not a low calorie item, but you can still feel virtuous nibbling on all of the accompanying vegetables.  


Loosely adapted from The Dean and Deluca Cookbook, and Gourmet Magazine (Aug 1994)

1 large can chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup well-stirred tahini (sesame seed paste)
1/3 cup lemon juice
Spanish smoky paprika and ground cumin (optional)
Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
Pita bread and raw vegetables as an accompaniment

1. Heat the chickpeas in their canned juices. Bring to a boil and let them cool to room temperature. Drain the chickpeas, reserving the cooking liquid.

2. Use a blender or food processor to puree the chickpeas, minced garlic, tahini paste, 1/3 cup lemon juice and about 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid. Aim for a medium-thick spread, adding more or less liquid as required.

3. Stir in the paprika and cumin and add salt and white pepper to taste (optional).

4. To serve, drizzle lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with additional paprika and/or ground cumin, maybe even some chopped Italian parsley. Present with raw vegetables (celery, carrots, radish slices, red pepper strips, etc.) and/or pita wedges for dipping.

Serves 4 as a first course. To double the quantity, make two separate batches if using a blender. 

Baked Pita Chips

1 package pita bread rounds (I like the Jasmine brand)
PAM olive oil or butter flavored cooking spray (or olive oil & a brush)
cumin, garlic, Zatar, or other spices of your choice

1. Preheat the oven to 425 F.

2. Split the pita rounds in half, separating top from bottom. Spray the bumpy inside surfaces generously with the cooking spray, or brush lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle each round with your seasoning of choice, or salt. Slice each pita half into 6 or 8 wedges.

3. Lay out the pita wedges on a cookie sheet, oiled/flavored sides up. Bake at 425 degrees for approximately 12 minutes, or until they just begin to brown. 

4. Enjoy as a stand-alone appetizer or as a scoop for the hummus.


  1. Ok, I tried it. The verdict from the guys upstairs was very good, but too peanut butter tasting and more garlic. So I think next batch on Thursday morning will be less sesame seed paste and more garlic.

    But I thought it was tasty and the guys and me put it away with some whole wheat pita bread and veggies. YUMMY! Highly recommend this recipe.


  2. Thanks for the input, Laci. I like your idea of more garlic and will try it in my next batch.

  3. It worked. It was a big hit for an Appetizer and my bestie said she liked it more than the ones in the store. :-)

    Thanks for sharing the recipe.



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