A recent news report announced that hummus has become the most popular purchased dip in the United States - and no wonder. Hummus is flavorful and versatile.
It pairs well with pita bread (fresh or toasted), bruschetta, and vegetables as a dip. It can be used as a spread on sandwiches, a sauce for pasta, and even a vegetarian main dish.
There are many different varieties of hummus available in the marketplace - and many carry a hefty price tag. The good news is that hummus is very easy and economical to make at home. Other than tahini (a sesame seed paste that gives hummus its distinctive flavor) the ingredients are readily available and inexpensive. The basic hummus is easily adapted to other flavors by simply adding red pepper, spinach, artichokes, or roasted garlic.
White bean spread is a very similar dish. It uses cannellini or Great Northern beans instead of the chickpeas as its basic ingredient. Tahini is not used in white bean spread, but the lemon, garlic, and olive oil are common to both. Our recipe features rosemary, but other herbs could used.
Both dishes are high in proteins and fiber as well as minerals and vitamins. The fats are the heart healthy fat found in olive oil and sesame seeds. The high fiber causes the carbohydrates to enter the blood slowly, making it a good choice for some diabetic plans.
Hummus and White Bean SpreadIngredients
- 2 Cups canned or cooked chickpeas
- 2 Cloves of garlic
- ¼ cup tahini
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- ½ lemon, juiced
- ½ cup olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Reserved liquid from the can or cooking liquid
- Drain the chickpeas, saving some of the liquid.
- Peel and smash the garlic cloves.
- Put the chic peas and garlic into a food processor and pulse to a rough chop.
- Add the tahini and lemon juice and process until smooth.
- If the mixture is too thick or pasty, add the reserved liquid (or water) a tablespoon at a time until the mixture becomes smooth.
- With the machine running,
slowly drizzle in the olive oil.
- Season with salt and pepper. If desired, more lemon juice or zest can be added.
- Serve with raw vegetables, pita bread or as a sandwich filling.
Mediterranean White Bean SpreadIngredients
- 1 cup Cannellini or Great Northern Beans, canned or cooked
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp fresh rosemary
- ¼ c olive oil
- Drain the beans if they are in liquid.
- Put the beans, garlic, lemon zest and juice, and the rosemary into a food processor or blender.
- Pulse to make a puree.
- Slowly add the olive oil to the desired consistency - thick or thinner depending on your taste.
- Serve with raw vegetables or bruschetta.
for more information and expanded ideas.