Mouthwatering Mediterranean

One of my favorite things to make is Hummus.  Not only is it delicious, but it’s very healthy for you, and it’s been around for a long time.

So, here’s a bit of hummus trivia… Research shows that the first documented use of chickpeas in the Middle-east was during the age of the crusaders. But, hummus is an interesting dish, because no one really knows where in the Middle-east it originated. Many people around the world actually believe hummus to be an Israeli dish, but any Syrian or Palestinian is not going to buy that idea.  The reality is that hummus is popular all over the Middle East, and is a tradition in the Arab kitchen. Chickpeas have supposedly been around for at least 9.000 years.  The Greeks also made a variation of hummus as well as the Romans. It’s sufficient to say that hummus is a mouthwatering Mediterranean favorite.

Anyway, I have developed my own variation of hummus, and it’s quite the rage.  I thought I’d share the recipe with you today!

Lemon Zest Hummus

Ingredients:

2 can (10 oz.) garbanzo beans (reserve half the liquid)

2 tablespoons tahini (found in your local health food stores)

3 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon

1 tablespoon lemon zest (you can put more for more lemon flavor)

1 teaspoon Celtic or Real salt

A pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)

Black pepper to taste

1/4 cup olive oil

2 leaves fresh basil (for garnish)

Directions:

In a blender, chop up the garlic.  Add the garbanzo beans, and reserve about a tablespoon of whole beans for garnish.  Add the lemon juice, lemon zest, tahini, cayenne, and salt in the blender.  Blend until creamy and well-mixed.  If too thick, you may add more of the liquid reserve and/or olive oil.

Transfer the mixture to a pretty serving bowl. Swirl around the top, drizzling olive oil on the top.  Sprinkle with black pepper.  Garnish with the remaining whole garbanzo beans and 2 basil leaves.

Serve with fresh pita bread, pita chips or cut up veggies (broccoli, carrots, celery and cucumbers), and DIVE IN!

Brittany resides in beautiful Santa Barbara, California, and may be contacted for events, private parties, weddings, cooking classes, and craft and catering services via her website: 

TASTE…and See

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