My wife says that I make the best hummus she ever tasted. She is always right. So. . .

Although most cookbooks say you should use dried chickpeas (picked, washed, and simmered as for red beans), the ones written by Lebanese authors and the chefs I know all say to use canned. One other tip: use more lemon juice than you might think right.

Kafta with hummus.

Kafta with hummus.

  • 4 large cloves garlic
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 can chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
  • 3 Tbs. fresh, strained lemon juice
  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. Louisiana hot sauce
  • 7 Tbs. tahini
  • Paprika or sumac (can be found in Middle Eastern grocery sections)

1. Put the garlic cloves and the salt into a food processor and process until chopped finely. Add a tablespoon of water, scrape down the sides of the processor, and run it again to almost produce a paste (you won’t quite, but it will be close enough).

2. Drain all the liquid from chickpeas, and rinse them with fresh water. Add the chickpeas, the lemon juice, hot sauce, and olive oil to the food processor. Run until the mixture is smooth. Add 1/4 cup of water, and process for another minute or so.

3. Scoop the mixture into a bowl. Add the tahini and mix in with a whisk. Taste the mixture and add more tahini, hot sauce, or salt to taste.

4. Spoon the hummus onto a large platter, working the pile out towards the edges, leaving a rim at the edge like that of a pizza crust.

5. Pour a thin stream of the extra-virgin olive oil around the top of the hummus. Dust the top lightly with the paprika or sumac.

Serve with pita bread, toasted and cut into six slices.

Serves eight.

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