Hummus
Makes 6 to 8 servings
Adapted from the Cabbagetown Café Cookbook (Crossing Press) by Julie JordanHummus makes a great tartine – an open-faced sandwich, although it’s also a great dip. Try to find good-quality tahini for hummus, such as Soom. Check local natural food stores and markets specializing in Middle Eastern ingredients. If cooking your own dried chick peas, it takes about 1 cup (140g) of dried chickpeas to make 2 cups (350g) of cooked ones. Rinse them well and sort them to make sure there is no debris in them. Cook them in plenty of water, replenishing it if necessary, with 2 teaspoons of baking soda, which helps soften them. For very smooth hummus, removing the skins after they are cooked will yield a smoother dip.
3 large cloves of garlic, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon coarse salt
3/4 cup (180g) tahini (sesame paste)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup (80ml) freshly-squeezed lemon juice
2 cups (350g) drained canned chickpeas, (reserve the liquid)
1/8 teaspoon chile powder
6 tablespoons of chickpea liquid, or more
1. In a blender or food processor, whiz together the garlic, salt, tahini, olive oil, and lemon juice until the garlic is finely-chopped.
2. Add the chick peas, chile powder, and 6 tablespoons of chick pea liquid, and pulse until smooth. Stop the machine a couple of times during blending to scrape down the sides to make sure everything gets well-incorporated.
3. Taste, and add more lemon juice or salt if desired, and more of the chick pea liquid until it reaches a thick, but spreadable consistency. You can make it as smooth, or as coarse, as you want. I like mine mid-way between the two.

Serving: I make a well in the center and drip in some good olive oil and add whatever strikes my mood, from red pepper flakes to za’atar. Chopped toasted nuts are nice, such as hazelnuts, as are seeds or fresh herbs. Serve with toasted pita chips, baguette slices, raw vegetables or whole wheat crackers.

Storage: Hummus will keep in the refrigerator for up to four days. You can also freeze hummus, well-wrapped, for up to two months.