01 February 2013

Easy Does It

When I started cooking I used to think the more complicated the recipe the better. I loved long ingredient lists and multiple sets of instructions. I don't know what I was thinking. Maybe I enjoyed the challenge; maybe I thought "real" cooking required major effort. But after you've ended up eating a few too many mediocre meals after first spending hours following some fancy recipe, it doesn't take long to figure out that complicated is not necessarily better. Now, unless it's a special occasion, I want short, easy recipes. I need to be done quickly and it had better be good.

My favourite hummus recipe meets all these requirements. It only needs five ingredients, it comes together in minutes (especially if you use a food processor), and it's delicious. Hey, it's even healthy. What more could you ask for?

A few ingredients are all you need

Parsley, pre-chopped

A few seconds later

The second batch of ingredients go into the processor

A few seconds later

A few minutes of work and you're ready to go

Easy Hummus

16 oz (540 mL) can chick peas
1/4 cup tahini (can be found in the Greek or Middle Eastern section of your local supermarket)
juice of 1/2 a lemon (I happened to have bottled on hand so I went with that)
2 cloves garlic, minced*
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped*

*If you're using a food processor, which I recommend, you can chop the parsley and garlic in there before processing the chickpea mixture.

Drain half the liquid from the chickpeas. Place remaining contents in food processor (or blender, but that doesn't work as well), along with tahini and lemon juice. Process until very smooth (a few seconds). Add chopped parsley and garlic and pulse a few times to blend ingredients. Transfer to plate or airtight container. Your hummus is ready to serve.

If you like you can garnish the hummus with a sprinkling of paprika or ground sumac. Sumac is a gritty, sour spice used in Middle Eastern cooking to add a lemony flavour. If you can find it (you'll probably have to go to a specialty shop) I highly recommend it. Serve hummus with pita bread and chopped veggies as an appetizer. It's also good as a spread on sandwiches with roasted vegetables.

Serves 4 as an appetizer (or 2 as a main)

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