Basic Hummus

Hummus is a wonderful addition to many, many meals. It's so easy to make at home that once you do you will never buy it store bought again! (Unless you're in a real pinch and need it right away.....which has been known to happen to me a time or two.)
I like to use dry chick peas but canned works well also.
You can buy a 16 oz bag of dry chick peas at most any grocery store.
Soak the entire contents of the bag over night in cold water for 12 hours. Then simmer for about 1 hour until soft. Drain, reserving the water in a bowl or large measuring cup. You can also take the time to pick out the skins that have fallen off the chick peas. If you don't have time, or just don't want to, that is fine as well. (Less skins mean a smoother hummus. But I often skip this step because I'm always in a hurry and it tastes delicious to me either way!)

We will only  use about 2 cups of the boiled chick peas in this recipe but the good news is you can freeze what is left of the cooked chick peas in the freezer for up to 4 weeks.

You will need:
2 cups cooked chick peas (or 2 15oz cans, rinsed and drained.)
3 Tablespoons tahini
The juice of 1 lemon
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup reserved water from boiling
¼ cup Olive Oil
Dash of cumin
Salt to taste

Put all ingredients into a food processor (if you don't have one, like my sister, you can use a blender)  and blend until smooth. This can take awhile, with some stopping and starting and mixing along the way. Taste. Add more salt or lemon to taste. If it is pretty thick, add more water. You want it to be a little more runny than you actually want it to be because it sets up in the fridge and gets thicker.

Empty into serving bowl and garnish with a drizzle of olive oil and paprika. A little za'atar if you happen to have it on hand. Serve with pita, french bread, crackers, fresh veggies, olives, we eat it on everything...

If you feel like getting a little crazy swap out lemon juice for lime juice and add ½ cup chopped cilantro for Lime & Cilantro Hummus

For Horseradish Hummus just add a couple tablespoons of fresh ground horseradish to the blender after hummus is blended, stir horseradish in and serve.