of fresh, bright Hummus

Not to feed you incriminating information or anything, but the Man and I are hooked on the epic HBO series Game of Thrones. Every week we gather with a few friends who share our superior taste in television, and things get primal. We eat. We imbibe. We fume, hiss, cat-call, and shout at the screen. It’s exhausting.

Hummus is just the thing to fuel all that interactive watching.

Stop right in your tracks. Please. Decide this very day to stop buying those anemic little tubs of supermarket hummus, because it is such a supreme pleasure to make it yourself.

We’re talking protein and fibre-rich chickpeas blitzed with olive oil, tahini, lemon juice, and fresh garlic. It’s bright, chirpy, and nutritious.

It’s also a supreme pleasure to eat. This isn’t just finger-food — hummus is a major player. It dresses up, dresses down, and pairs with just about everything.

You can dip carrots, cucumbers, radishes, sugar snap peas and any other crudites, croutons, tortilla chips, and whole-grain crackers. You can slather it on sandwiches and wraps, puffy Turkish bread, dense foccaccia. You can use it as a base sauce for a spinach/feta pizza or as a layer in vegetarian lasagna.

There are a million riffs on this basic recipe — think sun-dried tomatoes, cumin, fresh basil, roasted garlic, olives, or feta cheese — so just listen to your heart. Yesterday my heart said fresh cilantro (coriander) and smoked paprika.

BASIC HUMMUS

2 1/2 cups (400g) cooked and drained chickpeas (about 1 cup dried chickpeas), use canned only if you must

Juice of one lemon

2 garlic cloves

2 generous tablespoons tahini (sesame seed paste)

Good pinch salt

Mild-bodied olive oil

Puree all of the ingredients together with your kitchen powertool of choice, adding the oil slowly until the hummus has a thick, creamy consistency. Feel free to replace some of the oil with a bit of cooking liquid from the chickpeas. Then blend in whatever add-ins you fancy, dip a pinky in to taste and adjust accordingly, and serve in a colourful bowl.

If you stumble upon a new and eccentric variation, please share your brilliance with us below.

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