Hummus is a delicious, healthy dip that originates from the Middle East. It consists of a few simple ingredients: chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice and garlic. In the UK, hummus has grown to become incredibly popular and many flavoured versions are now available to purchase in delis and supermarkets - roasted tomato, black olive, even pomegranate! I believe its success is due to the fact that it is so versatile (it is great not only as a dip, but also as an addition to salad or as a bruschetta topping) and nutritious (chickpeas are a fantastic source of protein). However, not many people realise it has yet another quality: it is really easy to make at home! I encourage you to try and experience how in under five minutes you can have a tasty, guilt-free snack ready for you to enjoy at any time.
- One can of tinned chickpeas, drained (reserve the liquid to one side)
- 2 tablespoons of tahini paste (available in all large supermarkets)
- 1 fat clove of garlic
- The juice of half a lemon
- Two tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt & pepper to taste
Tip all the ingredients (minus the salt and pepper) in a food processor and whizz them to a paste. You should end up with a thick, creamy paste; if it needs loosening up a little, add a splash of the chickpeas' cooking liquid from the tin. Season it with salt and pepper, and taste it; you may want to add a little more lemon juice or salt, so keep on adjusting the seasoning until you are happy with it. It keeps for up to a week in the fridge, in an air-tight container or in a bowl covered with cling film.
As you can see from the picture, I served mine topped with a few whole chickpeas, a drizzling of olive oil and a pinch of sweet paprika. It works well as a dip with toasted pitta or flatbread (or hand cooked crisps, if you feel naughty), tossed in a crunchy salad or sitting proudly on top of a slice of toasted ciabatta that has been lightly rubbed with garlic and "blessed"with a few drops of olive oil.