The Spice Rack

"There is no love sincerer than the love of food." Join me as I explore this love with reckless abandon. Each week try a new recipe from a different region. Read a little about each recipes' history and a lot about what it took to get it from the pages of the cookbook to the dinner table.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006


As I write this I am eating fresh hummus on warm pita bread. It is one of my favorite snacks, and what I am always eating on my frequent trips to the Cherry Street Artisan in downtown Columbia. I had never considered making it myself until my issue of Saveur arrived in my mailbox this afternoon. There on the cover the simple tagline read "How to Make Great Hummus." I thought it would be a great experiment for this blog. I think the hummus at the Artisan is pretty tasty, and I wondered if I could do better. The article had several variations, but I decided to stick with the most traditional for comparison's sake. I was surprised to find the recipe is so simple and easy to make. So if you ever need a quick afternoon snack this might be the recipe for you.

4 cups drained, canned chickpeas
I clove garlic
1/2 cup sesame paste
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp. Paprika

Place drained chickpeas in a food processor and puree until smooth, about 2-3 minutes. The move the puree to a large bowl.
Crush garlic in a press or with the broad side of a chef's knife
Add to the chickpea paste along with a pinch of salt
Add sesame oil, lemon juice, and salt to taste and mix well
Drizzle hummus with olive oil and sprinkle with paprika.
Enjoy with warm pita or vegetables. It's also good for the comparison.

While I enjoyed this recipe, it was a little drier than what I am used to. I prefer the Artisan's more moist variety (although Saveur's editors insist its not as authentic.) But I recommend that you try the recipe out. It's easy to play with until you get it the consistency and flavor you like.