Looking for a super easy holiday appetizer? You might want to consider hummus. It can be made with items found in almost any pantry, with the exception of the tahini paste (and that is carried at your local grocer). You can leave the tahini paste out or substitute with a teaspoon or so of toasted sesame seeds. If you can work a food processor or blender, you can make hummus … but I’ve found, over the years, people are really impressed by it because they think it’s super exotic and thus complicated. Win-win.
Roasted Garlic Hummus
1 19 oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed, liquid reserved
1 head garlic
5 tbs. olive oil, divided
2 tbs. tahini paste
1 lemon, juiced
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
A few sprigs fresh parsley, for garnish (optional)
Serve with toasted pita triangles, soft pita triangles, 1″ sections of celery, baby carrots, or anything else that sounds good to you
Preheat oven to 400º.
Cut top 1/4″ inch off of garlic head to barely expose the cloves. Drizzle with 1 tbs. olive oil and season with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Wrap tightly in a piece of tinfoil and place in oven. Roast 35-45 minutes until exposed garlic cloves are a deep golden brown and very soft to the touch.
Carefully remove garlic from tinfoil wrapping – watch out, some steam will escape. Reserve any olive oil trapped in the tinfoil. Allow garlic to cool enough to handle, about ten minutes. Remove garlic cloves from peel by squeezing at the base of each clove.
Place chickpeas, roasted garlic, lemon juice, and tahini paste in a food processor and pulse a few times to combine. If necessary, scrape down sides of food processor. With machine running, slowly add olive oil (include any reserved garlic-infused olive oil) until hummus is creamy. If necessary, add reserved chickpea liquid with machine running to acquire desired consistency.
Using the back of a large spoon, make a depression in the center of the hummus and fill with a tbs. or so of olive oil. Garnish with a few sprigs of parsley.