Published On: Apr 24 2012 02:01:22 PM CDT   Updated On: Aug 04 2010 04:52:40 AM CDT

This thick, well-seasoned garbanzo bean dip has been enjoyed in eastern Mediterranean countries since ancient times. Serve it as a dip with pieces of pita bread, sesame crackers, or fresh vegetables. Middle Eastern markets carry hummus ready-made in cans or jars, but using a food processor makes its preparation from scratch both simple and quick.

1 tablespoon olive oil

¼ cup finely chopped onion

4 cloves garlic, minced

¼ cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley

1 tablespoon minced fresh basil, or 1 teaspoon dried basil

1 teaspoon minced fresh oregano, or ¼ teaspoon dried oregano

¼ teaspoon ground coriander

¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper, or to taste

Dash of ground cumin

One 15-ounce can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

Garnish: (optional) cherry tomatoes, sprigs of fresh flat-leaf parsley

Heat the oil in a small nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the parsley, basil, oregano, coriander, pepper, and cumin. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Combine the garbanzo beans and lemon juice in a food processor; process until smooth. Stir in the onion mixture and the sesame seeds. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Allow to cool before serving.

Advance preparation

Prepare hummus in advance to allow the flavors to blend; cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.