Reader Question : Hummus : )

This weekend I was in Boston visiting friends. In celebration of a few birthdays we had dinner at Scampo in the Liberty Hotel. First of all, Liberty Hotel gets two thumbs up for a great use of space (it was a jail on Charles Street many moons ago), and two thumbs down for cheesy casino carpeting and making their bars a bit too clubby. In so many design respects they had it down, just cheaped out on the flooring I think. Anyway – I digress. The food at Scampo was yummy. Before the meal they served large homemade bread sticks and pesto hummus. My friend Katie asked what went into hummus, so here I decided to share with all of you.

Hummus, as most of you know is more or less chickpeas mashed. In its most basic form it also contains Tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. It is a Levantine Arabic word (obviously translated into the english alphabet), and first appeared in English Dictionaries in 1955. In its native countries it is one of the oldest documented prepared foods. Its also high in Iron, Vitamin C, Folate, B6 and Fiber (thanks Wikipedia).

When looking up recipes I found a lot of good ones. As we see on the shelves of every market, you can flavor hummus with essentially everything but the kitchen sink. In fact Casual Kitchens did a Hummus blogroll with 16 easy to make hummus'. I will definitely be returning to this list for future parties. Thai Basil? Cilantro-Jalapeno? Yum. I ended up with a Pesto Hummus from Two Fat Als, after second guessing that the one on CK's list. It had soy sauce and no pinenuts. Hm... That was until I saw that Two Fat Als had the same ingredients. Interesting--we'll try it.

So judging by my top picture Hummus couldn't be cheaper to make right? A few pantry staples and two 89 cent cans of beans (Maybe you have to buy tahini too--this recipe did not call for it which is sort of cheating). Wrong. At least for me. All of these recipes which suggested a food processor were the straw that broke the camels back. I threw down my computer (metaphorically,or this would have been really expensive--think of tossing a book or newspaper in frustration) and made a trip to my local Bed Bath & Beyond. I returned with what you see above. Oopsie. Not really a planned purchase, but I've had it up to HERE with passing on recipes on account of no food processor. Isnt she a beaut??

Look at how little chopping I had to do! So satisfying to watch that blade do the work!

And here is the end result. Unfortunately not beautifully plated with pita and crudite like you might do for a party, but jarred up for my snacking delight. It is delicious. A little less creamy without Tahini and not SO pesto-y. Much more basil garlic like. If you're looking for pesto I would omit Soy, add pine nuts and more basil (Scampo's was a beautiful green--this not so much). Give one a try!


  1. Looks delish! Can't wait to try it. Didn't mean to make you run out and buy a processor though! xo

  2. Please. You did not make me buy it :).