Hummus is a Middle Eastern dip and is traditionally made with chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, and olive oil; it lends itself to several variations. Prepare and refrigerate it a day ahead and let it stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving. Garnish with a lemon wedge and fresh parsley sprig, and serve with pita chips or a veggie platter. Here are a few variations of hummus that you can prepare for all your festivities this season!
Combine Traditional Hummus, 1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese, 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, and 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin. Transfer mixture to an 8-inch square baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese. Bake at 400 degrees F for 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Garnish with parsley sprigs. Yield: 4 cups (serving size: about 2 tablespoons)
White Bean and Roasted Garlic Hummus
Since this variation calls for roasted garlic, you can just omit the raw crushed garlic cloves from the Traditional Hummus. Remove white papery skin from 2 whole garlic heads (do not peel or separate the cloves). Wrap each head separately in foil. Bake at 350 degrees F for one hour; cool 10 minutes. Separate cloves; squeeze to extract garlic pulp. Discard skins. Place garlic pulp, Traditional Hummus (without crushed raw garlic), and 1 (15-ounce) can rinsed and drained cannellini beans (or other white beans) in a food processor; pules 5 times or until chopped. Add 1/4 cup water; process until smooth, scraping down sides as needed. Stir in 3/4 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary. Yield: 5 cups (serving size: about 2 1/2 tablespoons)
Spicy Red Pepper Hummus
Cut 2 red bell peppers in half lengthwise; discard seeds and membranes. Place pepper halves, skin sides up, on a foil-lined baking sheet; flatten with hand. Broil 15 minutes or until blackened. Place in a zip-top plastic bag; seal. Let stand 10 minutes. Peel and cut into strips. Combine bell peppers, 2 teaspoons chile paste with garlic (such as sambal oelek), 1/2 teaspoon paprika, and 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper in a food processor; pulse until smooth. Transfer pepper mixture to a serving bowl; stir in Traditional Hummus. Yield: 4 cups (serving size: about 2 tablespoons).