Hummus has gained popularity in the last few years as a healthy, good-for-you food, and it is! But at the risk of sounding like one of *those* people… “I was into hummus before it was popular”. Actually, though, hummus and I do go way back.
My grandmother, Elizabeth Aijian Munroe, was a first generation American whose parents fled Armenia to escape the Turks. Because of their traumatic experiences in Armenia, they wanted to raise their children as Americans not Armenians. So they spoke English in their home and did not keep many Armenian traditions…except food. While my sisters and I wish that we knew the Armenian language or some of the customs and traditions, we are all thankful we grew up with the tradition of Armenian hospitality and food.
As a child, we lived about 6 hours north of my grandparents so it was always quite the ordeal driving down to Mimi and Papa’s. Whenever we would arrive, Mimi would always, without a doubt, have out an appetizer spread which always included hummus. To be honest, I hated it as a kid. I would much rather eat the pita bread, Armenian cheese, and kalamata olives she’d set out. Now, however, I love hummus!
My Mimi and Papa were married for 64 years, and just last year, they passed on into eternity a mere 12 days apart. So now, I see hummus in a whole new light: a love of culture, food, and hosting loved ones in your home…all in one little dip. In fact, when I was making this hummus, Zemirah helped me squeeze the lemon juice and I felt a rush of emotions (and maybe my eyes watered a bit) and gratitude as I thought about the history and love in this little bean dip. I imagined my great-grandmother making hummus with my grandmother, my grandmother making hummus with my mom, my mom making hummus with me, and now, here I was, continuing on in the tradition.
This recipe is based on the one found in the cookbook, Armenian Cooking Today, which was gifted to me by my sweet mom, who was wise and kind enough to have herself and Mimi write notes in the margins. Food has such history, can tell incredibly vast, beautiful stories, and brings us all together to enjoy eating with ones we love. I hope this simple, healthy dish can bring some history and love to your table, too.
Classic Garlic Hummus
Serves 10-12. Delicious as a veggie or chip dip, or as a spread.
- One 15 oz can of garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed
- 1/4 cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
- 1/3 cup of olive oil
- Juice of one lemon
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 1/2 tsp of salt
- Water as needed
- Optional garnishes:
- a drizzle of olive oil
- chopped parsley
- a sprinkle of paprika
- Combine chickpeas, tahini, and olive oil in blender
- Blend until smooth
- Add remaining ingredients
- Blend until smooth
- Adjust consistency with water if needed (I like mine thicker, but not too oily and heavy, which is why I use water)
- Best if chilled overnight before serving
- Garnish before serving, if desired
Thank you for letting me share a little about myself and my family. I hope you keep this easy hummus on hand for a quick snack or spread, but just be warned, you might want to pop a breath mint after eating it haha! Although, garlic is nature’s antibiotic, so eat up and stay healthy! Eat all the garlic…and enjoy your pinch of crazy!