Chickpea Dip (Hummus) and Olives Crostinis
A Mediterranean staple, hummus makes a lovey appetizer, snack or part of a salad selction anytime. You can make it from scratch by soaking dried chickpeas and then cooking them until soft, or you can use this quick version using canned organic chickpeas. If you cook the chickpeas from scratch be sure to add a teaspoon of baking soda to the soaking liquid. The chickpeas have a tough outer layer and the soda helps soften it. Serve the hummus as a dip with wedges of pita bread or spread it over grilled slices of French bread and serve with good Mediterranean style olives on the side.
1 can chickpeas
1 garlic clove
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup tahini paste
Water as needed
Pita bread wedges or grilled French bread slices
Place all the ingredients except the water in a food processor and process to a paste consistency. If the mixture is too thick add water, a tablespoon at a time, until you get the right consistency. The mixture will be grainy at first but will smooth out as you add water and process it further.
Taste the hummus and adjust the seasoning, adding more salt or lemon juice to suit your taste.
To serve as a dip with pita bread wedges spoon the hummus into the center of a serving plate and with a back of a spoon smooth it out into a circle with raised edges. Spoon the reserved chickpeas over and sprinkle with paprika and the chopped parsley. Drizzle olive oil over everything and add a pinch of coarse salt. (See image below).
To serve as crostini brush a few slices of baguette with olive oil and grill in a 400 degrees oven until crisp and golden. Fill a serving dish with the hummus and serve alongside the grilled bread and good quality mediterranean style olives.