This bean spread can become the protein part of a meal, used on sandwiches or as a side; perfect for a vegan menu. Canned garbanzos are convenient, but cooking dry garbanzo beans saves money. Hummus freezes well, so it’s worthwhile to make a big batch. This can also be served as an appetizer, with toasted pita bread triangles or crackers. Serves 15-20.
• 1 lb. dry garbanzo beans
• 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
• Zest and juice of 2 lemons
• 1 half pint (1 c.) sesame butter (found at health food stores)*
• 1 TBS. salt
• 1/2 c. olive oil
• 1/4 c. white vinegar
• 2/3 c. water
1. If possible, presoak garbanzos for several hours, as this will speed up the cooking process. Cook the beans for several hours over medium heat until very tender: > 1 lb. dry garbanzo beans (or pre-soaked) > 3 qt. boiling water
2. Drain the cooked beans, reserving 1/2 c. of whole beans to garnish the dish, if serving as an appetizer. Process the beans in a food processor with the following until smooth: > 3-4 garlic cloves > Zest and juice of 2 lemons > 1/2 pint (1 c.) sesame butter (found at health food stores) > 1 TBS. salt > 1/2 c. olive oil
3. Also add and process again: > 1/4 c. white vinegar > 2/3 c. water
4. For a dip, put hummus in a medium-large, shallow bowl, garnishing with chopped parsley, a sprinkling of paprika, and whole garbanzo beans—a colorful presentation. To serve with toasted pita triangles, cut six or so pitas into triangles, baking on a cookie sheet for 10-20 minutes at 350 degrees.
5. For variety, add extra spices, like cumin powder, curry, or sun-dried tomatoes. The hummus will keep one week or so in refrigerator, or several months in the freezer. Freeze serving-size portions for handy lunch-box options.
* You can make your own sesame butter by grinding toasted sesame seeds (white or brown)