I like snacky foods and appetizers. I often make a meal of them. I could probably live on guacamole, chips, salsa and hummus and pita. So, you see, I make a great party guest…because odds are I will make one of the above items and bring it to your next party.

I should mention that I really don’t have an exact recipe for hummus. I actually experiment and go by taste. Personally, I like spicy hummus. So, when you make it—and it’s incredibly easy–go according to what you like. Remember, cooking and baking is about having fun and experimenting. Hummus is also a quick and easy appetizer to bring to parties, along with some toasted pita chips.

There’s one store brand of hummus that I like: Sabra. When I’m feeling lazy, I’ll buy it, otherwise I make my own. I should also note, that another hummus that I would kill for is Sahadi’s hummus. If you’ve never been to Sahadi’s GO!! At the back of the store, as you weave your way through the masses, you’ll find a deli counter. Order some hummus and some babaganoush. They are by far the most flavorful you’ll ever experience. Oh, and pick up some fried cauliflower too…then invite me over.

Anyway, back to making hummus. Lately I’ve been making mine pretty spicy with the addition of harissa, which you can purchase pretty much anywhere, or, you can make your own. I suppose you could make your own tahini too, by toasting sesame seeds and grinding them, which would add a different element to the flavor of the hummus, but I just buy tahini in a jar as well. If you don’t have garbanzo beans on hand, try white beans (canellini), black beans or even cooked edamame. When I make black bean hummus I like to skip the chili powder and add chipotle chili powder.

Lisa’s Hummus

1 can of garbanzo beans (I use organic)
2-3 TB Tahini
1 small garlic clove (or, you don’t have to add it)
1 tsp. cumin
1/2-1 tsp. chili powder
1-2 TB Harissa
Dash or two of extra virgin olive oil
1/4 c. reserved liquid from the garbanzo beans

Combine all ingredients in food processor and mix until creamy. You may have to add a tad more tahini and olive oil to get the exact consistency. If you don’t want to add to the fat calories, a little bit of water will also help achieve smooth hummus. Adjust to your liking.