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Recipe: Hummus

My hummus is a party favorite– I’ve been making it ever since my dear friend Elisa visited me for two weeks when I got married and she showed me how simple it was to do it. I’ll add that it’s far easier to do this in a food processor than in a blender, as Elisa and I learned the hard way (heretofore referred to as “The Great Hummus Incident of 2004”) I’m fairly sure that until we remodeled the kitchen, you could still find bits of chickpeas in corners of the kitchen. Elisa’s now busy with her political career, and I’m no longer married, but I can’t help but think of her every time I make hummus.

This one’s a pretty rough recipe– there are no real measurements; I eyeball everything.

2 16 ounce cans of chickpeas
2-3 cloves of garlic (these can be roasted or unroasted; if roasted I use a few more than that, sometimes a whole head).
Olive oil
Juice of 1/2 lemon

In a food processor, process the chickpeas until they look sort of like wet sand. Through the chute, add oil slowly, until you notice that it looks less like wet sand, and more like peanut butter. Turn off the processor and taste the olive oil/chickpea mixture. Is the texture creamy? Then it’s almost done! Now, squeeze in the juice of half a lemon and pop in the garlic cloves. Process until smooth. Salt to taste– it shouldn’t be salty, but the salt should brighten the flavors of olive oil, lemon and garlic and cut the blandness you tasted when you checked for consistence.

Smooth out on a plate, and garnish with paprika, olive oil, cracked pepper, whole olives– whatever you want– and serve with pita chips. It also makes a great lunch spread and it’s darn good off of a spoon around midnight, straight out of the refrigerator.