If you’re at all familiar with the movie, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, you must remember the “Mooscaca” scene! You can watch it here (@ 3:00 is the scene I’m talking about). That was my childhood! Being Armenian with a family from Egypt, my Mother didn’t know anything about Wonderbread. Or any sliced bread, for that matter. All of our sandwiches were on pita bread. And many times, there was hummus in that pita. This was over
forty thirty years ago (hey, stop trying to do the math!). No one in suburban New Jersey was eating pita bread or hummus for lunch. Except for me. I would beg my Mom to buy Wonderbread. “Pleeeeeeaaaase can I just take a peanut butter and jelly on Wonderbread!” She’d reply “Hokees (sweetheart, in Armenian), why would you want to eat that when this is so good?” Sigh. I’d cringe as I looked into my lunchbox. I can remember trying to find a way to eat the sandwich without anyone seeing it. I will say, no one teased me about it. They did ask me what I was eating and that alone was all I needed to develop a full blown complex. One day, my friend Sandy must have felt sorry for me. She offered to trade sandwiches. That meant the world to me. Sandy’s family owned an Italian deli and she always had the best sandwiches. I don’t remember anything beyond that moment, just that she made me feel like less of a freak!
So, it’s not like I think I have any claim to hummus, but do I feel like it’s mine. I’m kidddddding! A little. It’s just that this is the type of food that was a staple in our home and back then, I felt like an oddball eating it! Now, it’s everywhere. Hummus is so popular that some tobacco farmers are switching to farming chickpeas instead of tobacco! So, I kind of feel like, well, my hummus is pretty darn good. Who knew that some of my most major hangups over food would pay off someday?
One of the wonderful things that has come to me because of my crazy relationship with food is this blog. Over the past few months, I’ve seen it grow and I’ve been hearing really sweet things from my awesome readers. You’ve all been so kind and supportive, I’d like to give a little something to you! Enter to win a $25 gift card to Bed Bath and Beyond courtesy of Taste Love & Nourish. I know I can always find a little something every time I go there! I love that store! Enter below! Good luck and thank you!
29 ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed well
1/3 cup tahini
juice of one lemon
zest of 1/2 lemon
up to 1/3 cup water (start with less and add a bit more if you need to thin it out)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil + more for drizzling on top
3/4 teaspoon salt
a bit of black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1 clove garlic, minced
sprinkling of crushed red pepper flakes
toasted or grilled pita bread or assorted veggies for serving
Combine the ingredients up to the garlic in the bowl of a food processor. Process until smooth. Spoon into a serving bowl and drizzle with more olive oil and sprinkle with some crushed red pepper flakes.
- I don’t add a lot of olive oil while processing. I feel that the flavor of the oil gets lost. I like to use the best quality extra virgin olive oil I can and use it more as a garnish. That way you really taste the fruity flavor on your tongue.
- I don’t use a ton of fresh garlic in this for a reason. I think raw garlic can be overwhelming. If I roast garlic beforehand, I add a lot more than the one clove. Roasted garlic is mellow, sweet and delicious. To roast a head of garlic, cut a bit of the top off to expose the cloves, place the garlic in a bit of aluminum foil, drizzle with a tiny, tiny bit of olive oil and roast in an oven preheated to 350 degrees for about 30 to 45 minutes, depending on the size of the garlic. To test, just give it a light squeeze. If it’s softened, it’s done!