My first introduction to hummus was at the ripe old age of 24. I was just married and visiting my new in-laws in Germany with my new husband (no, they are not German, they lived there for work). We made several trips to this falafel stand in Berlin. I hadn't heard of falafel either, but since it was rather "normal" looking, I just ate it up and didn't think twice, (tasted great!). I was a bit skeptical the first time I saw the hummus, though. What was that pasty looking stuff? I don't think I dared taste the hummus until the second or third falafel trip.
Since those days of ignorance, I have developed a deep and abiding love for hummus, (and my in-laws!). Upon our return from Germany, I began the process of learning how to cook. Eventually I tried making hummus. Wow! So easy to make and yummy too!
We now eat hummus regularly and everyone in the family likes it! Yes, even Hypatia. She doesn't want the vegetables with it, but she likes the hummus with pita bread. You know its good if she will eat it!
It is a nice summer meal because it doesn't require any cooking, unless you cook dry beans rather than opening a can (I usually cook them in a pressure cooker). Other than that, you just need a food processor or blender.
I don't really measure anymore, but the ingredients for hummus are basically this:
2 cans chickpeas, drained, reserve liquid
2-3 cloves minced garlic (more or less, you decide how strong you like it)
juice of 2 lemons (again, I keep adding lemon until it tastes right)
1/3 cup tahini (some recipes call for as much as 2/3 cup)
1/4 cup olive oil
water or reserved bean liquid for thinning
salt and pepper to taste
In a food processor, add the chickpeas, lemon juice, tahini, olive oil, garlic, and extra add-ins. Process until smooth. If its too thick, thin with water. When its just right, stir in salt and pepper to taste.
I usually add in one or more of these ingredients:
1 tsp. freshly ground cumin
1/4 cup loosely packed cilantro
1/4 cup loosely packed parsely
some roasted red pepper
This time, I added cumin and fresh cilantro. I also used roasted garlic instead of fresh, which was really nice. It was a much mellower flavor. I added many cloves of the roasted garlic, much more than I would of the fresh. If you overdo the fresh garlic, you end up with an extremely sharp garlic flavor that can be hard to handle, expecially for kids.