(Slightly) Spicy Hummus

I think I re-discovered how much I love hummus when I made this last batch.  It's versatile, elegant, and light while still providing a creamy and rich taste.  I prepared it three different ways: for lunch with some oil-packed sundried tomatoes, marinated artichokes, and pita chips; on a serving platter as a dip alongside some black olive tapenade when I had some friends over (as pictured above), and in a sandwich with the black olive tapenade and more sundried tomatoes.  I imagine this would taste great in a sandwich with falafel.

Making hummus requires little work and can be fun and experimental, as long as you're ready to continually taste it until it's made to your satisfaction!  Personally, I don't like to add garlic to my hummus, because I think it can be overpowering and can diminish the natural taste of the chickpeas.  However, I'll include garlic as optional in the recipe because it's entirely up to you if you want to add it or not. 

Also, I've made hummus with both fresh chickpeas and canned, and I tasted no difference between the two versions; if they taste the same, why go through any extra work? I say using canned chickpeas is A-OK.  One final note:  I made a decent amount for one person (2 cups) because it's a great food item to have around whenever you feel like whipping up a quick snack, lunch, or dinner.  Enjoy!

Hummus - makes about 2 cups

1 16 to 18-oz. can chickpeas/garbanzo beans
3 tablespoons tahini
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons hot paprika, or a combo of hot and sweet
2 teaspoons allspice (or quatre-epices)
1 lemon, halved and juiced
fresh ground pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced (optional)
2 teaspoons cumin (optional)
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper (optional)

1.  In a blender, place all the ingredients (but only 1/2 of the lemon juice) and blend until combined. 
2.  Taste, and adjust the seasoning however you'd like by adding additionnal oil, tahini, lemon juice, or spices.
3.  Sprinkle with additional paprika if you would like. 


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