Sunday, August 4, 2013

Lemon Basil Garlic Hummus and Pita Chips

Today, I'm sharing my recipe for Lemon, Basil and Garlic Hummus. I'm also sharing my homemade Pita Chips recipe!

The first time I made this hummus, I added too much tahini, so it was a bit on the bitter side. The second time, I didn't add enough garlic or the zest of the lemon, which left it tasting a bit bland. Third time was the charm though! The flavours blended beautifully!

I made the Pita Chips for the first time about a month ago and I must say, they are delicious! You just have to be VERY watchful as they bake, since they can burn in a heartbeat! Some recipes, called for the pitas to be brushed with olive oil or a mix of olive oil and herbs. I found that to be a bit messy. It is far easier to spray a pan of pita wedges with Pam and then sprinkle your choice of seasonings on top. Also, some recipes don't have you open and separate the wedges. I found those chips just didn't have the same crispness as the single layer ones so it really is worth it to take those extra few minutes to separate. 

BTW, the chips aren't just for dipping in hummus! They are also great served as a side to a salad or soup.

A few weeks ago, I took my Roasted Red Pepper and CashewHummus and my newly created Pita Chips to a friend's cottage. They loved it! My containers came home empty!

I've since shared more of the chips and some of today's hummus recipe with some more friends and they all agreed - it is REALLY GOOD!

Lemon Basil Garlic Hummus
1 large lemon
2 cups garbanzo beans (chickpeas), rinsed and drained (540ml/19oz can)
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves - stems removed and leaves slightly chopped (the dried stuff will not do in this recipe!!)
 1/4 cup olive oil, or more to taste
 1 1/2 tablespoons tahini (sesame seed paste)
 3 - 4 cloves garlic, peeled and slightly chopped (use more or less garlic depending on taste)
Zest the lemon - you should get about 1 1/2 - 2 Tablespoons. I zest almost to the white pith! Set aside. Juice the lemon and remove the seeds. Pour the lemon juice into a measuring cup. There should be at least 1/4 cup. If necessary, top up with water to make 1/3 cup. Add the zest, lemon juice/water and the rest of the ingredients to a food processor. Pulse for a few seconds two or three times - just to get things moving then process until smooth - about 1 minute. If it is too thick, you can add a bit more water or olive oil depending on your tastes. Transfer to a serving dish or a container with a lid and keep in fridge till serving.

Makes about 2 cups. Serve with raw veggies, crackers or pita chips.

Note: You can serve this right away, but I prefer to make this a day ahead and allow the flavours to blend together more before I serve it - it just seems to have a more balanced flavour this way.


Pita Chips
Pitas (I use 100% whole wheat)
Cut each pita in half, then cut each half in 4 wedges. Carefully open each wedge and cut/tear apart at the rounded edge so that there is a rough side and a smooth side. Place wedges, rough side up, in single layer on baking sheet. Do NOT overlap! Spray lightly with Pam. Sprinkle with a little seasoning* such as Mediterranean blend, Ranch blend, Italian, garlic herb, etc. Bake in preheated 350F for about 5 - 7 minutes.  WATCH THESE CAREFULLY AS THEY CAN BURN VERY EASILY!!! Serve warm with hummus or allow to cool and store in an air tight container for up to 5 days.

- The pitas that I've been buying, come in packages of 6. I usually do up the whole package into pitas as this is about enough to serve with one recipe of hummus if you aren't serving other dippers with it. There will be enough wedges to almost fill 4 cookie sheets. I use two pans and prepare one as the other is baking. Takes a little under 30 mins. to do the whole package into chips including cutting and baking. 
- As for how much seasoning to add, consider what you will be dipping the chips into. You don't want the seasonings to overpower the hummus - you want to compliment it. A little seasoning goes a long way!

* I use the Johny's Garlic Spread and Seasoning Mix that you can buy at Costco to sprinkle on the chips but you can use whatever herbs you want on the chips.



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