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.
Prepare hummus in advance to allow the flavors to blend; cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.
Paulette Mitchell, a culinary instructor, television personality, spokesperson, freelance food writer, and the award-winning author of 13 cookbooks, is known internationally for her quick-to-prepare recipes with gourmet flair. Paulette's most recently published cookbook is "The Complete 15-Minute Gourmet: Creative Cuisine Made Fast and Fresh." She is also the author of "A Beautiful Bowl of Soup" and "The Spirited Vegetarian," which was voted "Best Book in the World on Cooking with Wine" at the 2005 Gourmand World Media Awards. Paulette says that international travel is her favorite source of culinary inspiration.