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Creamy Hummus Platter

I’ll begin by stating the obvious: you can buy hummus everywhere, even at Costco, and most brands are pretty good too. But commercial hummus is not as good as home-made, and to understand this you’ll just have to make your own. On the difficulty level, making hummus ranks right up there with operating an Easy Bake oven. In other words, even if you don’t consider yourself to be a great cook, you can do this.

Busy time bonus: there’s no cooking involved. This is a lemony hummus, which I love. For even more lemon flavor, add 1/2 tsp. of grated lemon zest to the food processor with the chickpeas. If you like your hummus on the spicy side, add a bigger pinch of cayenne.

Classic hummus gets its rich consistency from a healthy dose of tahini and olive oil, which I’ve scaled back in this recipe and added a small amount of water. It’s still as rich tasting as the real deal but not as high in fat or calories, which means you can have your hummus and eat it too.

Deb Perlman of Smitten Kitchen suggests pinching the skins off of the chickpeas for an ultra smooth hummus. If you’re a glutton for repetitive chores, pinch away. If not, your hummus will still be delicious.

1 (15-oz.) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed 4 Tbsp. (1/4 cup) water 4 Tbsp. lemon juice 4 Tbsp. tahini, stirred well* 1 1/2 T. olive oil 1 clove garlic, minced 1/2 t. salt 1/4 t. ground cumin Pinch cayenne 1 T. minced fresh cilantro or parsley leaves

*Joyva brand is good, comes in a tin can and keeps for a long time in the fridge.

Process chickpeas, water, lemon juice, tahini, olive oil, garlic, salt, cumin and cayenne together in a food processor until smooth, about 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl, cover and refrigerate until the flavors have blended, about 1 hour. Season with salt to taste and sprinkle with parsley or cilantro.

Makes two cups

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