Fresh Basil Hummus is a vibrant makover of a delicious but sometimes ho-hum appetizer…
Hummus is so fantastic that sometimes it feels like a sacrilege to mess with it. And I already have so many great variations on the blog. But this was such a hit with everyone who tried it that I have to share. To be honest I surprised myself with this one. We bought basil hummus from our favorite Middle Eastern stand at the farmer’s market a couple of weeks ago and I wasn’t impressed. It had sort of a ‘canned’ flavor, not good. But once again, just making something yourself at home can make such a difference…two big fistfuls of beautiful fresh basil and a shot of lemon and I’ve got something so much better than anything I’ve ever bought, or ordered. The basil comes through with a really fresh clean flavor, and it reminds me of the huge difference between homemade and store bought pesto.
We ate our hummus with Grant’s signature seasoned pita chips. He doesn’t make many things in the kitchen, but these are a family favorite, and we all fight over them. He usually seasons his chips with just onion salt, but I added za’atar, a Middle Eastern herb blend that you may be able to find at your store. You can also buy it online, or make it a good substitute yourself by grinding dried thyme, sumac, salt and sesame seeds together. 101 Cookbooks has a good recipe, here. You can substitute dried thyme or oregano in a pinch.
- 1 15 oz can of chickpeas
- i garlic clove
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 2 cups packed basil leaves
- salt and fresh cracked black pepper
- pita bread
- olive oil
- onion salt
- sesame seeds
- Drain and rinse the chickpeas. Put them in the bowl of a food processor along with the smashed garlic clove. Process the chickpeas for several minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary. I like to process the beans first to get them as smooth as possible.
- Add the tahini and lemon to the puree and process briefly to combine. Then add the basil, and process for another couple of minutes, scraping down the sides as needed. You want it to be really smooth.
- Wile the machine is running, drizzle in some ice water to loosen the hummus. Season with salt and fresh cracked black pepper.
- Spread the hummus out into a shallow bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Serve with a drizzle of olive oil, a sprinkling of za'atar, sumac, or paprika, and a lemon wedge.
- To make the pita chips, set the oven to 350F.
- Cut the pita bread in small triangles and arrange on a baking sheet. Brush them with olive oil, and sprinkle lightly with onion salt, z'aatar, and sesame seeds.
- Bake for just a few minutes, watching carefully, until the bread it browned. Flip the triangles and bake for a few more minutes, but watch carefully. If you want them extra crispy, brush the second side with olive oil as well.
If you’re still looking for something quick and easy to serve this holiday weekend, I think everybody will love this.