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Melissa’s Creamy Five-Minute Hummus – Four Ways!

By Cheryl Forberg
Image of Creamy Hummus
As many of you know, I spent several years of my culinary career as a private chef for a Saudi Prince. While he had an amazing palette and enjoyed many different cuisines, his personal chef, Saud, taught me how to make many very authentic, generations-old family favorites. I quickly developed a lifelong love for his recipes, which I use all the time.

One of the recipes he shared with me was for hummus. His version had a bit more fat than mine; he used considerably more olive oil than I do. His wrist was also a bit heavier on the fabulous tahini (see note) he purchased from a Lebanese vendor in Los Angeles (which I favor to this day). His recipes was/were perfection, but I was on a mission to help my Prince improve his fitness and his health, so I had to make a few adjustments, mostly dialing down the fat grams and portion sizes. My adaptation is still quite good, I think!

When you’re cooking for royalty, you can imagine that everything really does need to be perfect. In fact, one of the first big lessons I learned in this kitchen was that chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, had to be peeled according to the House Kitchen Rules. That is not the case with the canned beans we buy off the shelf (or of most of the premade hummus we see in refrigerator cases today).

Luckily, Melissa’s wonderfully convenient (and delicious) Steamed Garbanzo Beans have already been peeled for us—thank you, Melissa’s! Trust me, you don’t want to have to peel your own cooked chickpeas! Melissa’s also adds a very small amount of salt, garlic, and fresh herbs to the steamed beans. You will see I have only added a small amount of salt and garlic to the recipe to compensate for that.

In any case, if you are a regular buyer of prepared hummus, like many of my friends and family, I hope this recipe will change the way you think about making it yourself. It really is quick and easy and so much better than most of the prepared hummus I’ve tried. I have included 3 additional recipe variations to add to your entertaining repertoire. I hope you’ll love them too!

Melissa’s Creamy Five-Minute Hummus
Yield: About 3 cups; 12 (¼-cup) servings
Image of Ingredients
This creamy Middle Eastern spread takes minutes to prepare and will keep for several days, refrigerated. Serve as an appetizer with crispy pita chips or warm pita bread wedges. It can also be served as a (vegan) sandwich on warm pita with sliced tomatoes and shredded lettuce.

Ingredients:
2 nine-ounce packages Melissa’s peeled and steamed chickpeas (about 3 cups)
1/4 cup warm water
1/4 cup Melissa’s fresh lemon juice (or about 1 ½ medium lemons)
1/4 cup tahini (see note)
1½ teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon Melissa’s minced garlic
¾ teaspoon salt

Garnish:
Fresh Italian parsley leaves
Olive oil
Paprika

Directions:
Image of hummus ingredients in food processor bowl
Place all ingredients except herbs in the bowl of a food processor or blender. Process or blend until very smooth, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with paprika and garnish with Italian parsley leaves.
Image of creamy hummus
Adapted with permission from Stop the Clock! Cooking: Defy Aging – Eat the Foods You Love by Cheryl Forberg RD (Penguin Putnam 2003)

Variation 1
Melissa’s Creamy Five-Minute Hummus with Melissa’s Roast Hatch Chiles
Image of Hummus with Hatch Peppers
Ingredient addition:
½ cup Melissa’s roasted, peeled, and seeded Hatch peppers, finely diced

Directions
Once the Five-Minute Hummus recipe is prepared and transferred to a bowl, add finely diced Hatch Peppers. Stir well. I used mild heat, but you can use hot if you prefer.

Variation 2
Melissa’s Creamy Five-Minute Hummus with Melissa’s Fire Roasted Sweet Red Bell Peppers
Image of Hummus with bell peppers
Ingredient addition:
8 ounces Melissa’s Fire Roast Sweet Red Bell Peppers

Directions
Place Melissa’s Fire Roasted Sweet Red Bell Peppers and all ingredients (except garnishes) in the bowl of a food processor or blender. Process or blend until very smooth, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with paprika and garnish with Italian parsley leaves.

Variation 3
Melissa’s Creamy Five-Minute Hummus with Melissa’s Fire Roasted Sweet Red Bell Peppers and Roasted Hatch Chiles
Image of Hummus
Ingredient addition:
8 ounces Melissa’s Fire Roasted Sweet Red Bell Peppers
½ cup finely diced Melissa’s roasted, peeled, and seeded Hatch chiles, finely diced

Directions
Place Melissa’s Fire Roasted Sweet Red Bell Peppers and all ingredients (except garnishes and Hatch chilies) in the bowl of a food processor or blender. Process or blend until very smooth, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. Stir in chopped Hatch chilies. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with paprika and garnish with Italian parsley leaves.

Note: Tahini is a paste made from ground sesame seeds. It can be found in Middle Eastern markets or in the ethnic section of most supermarkets. It should be refrigerated after opening.

Tahini Factoid: Aside from being eaten whole, sesame seeds are commonly ground into pastes. Those with thicker texture are referred to as sesame butter and thinner pastes are called tahini.
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