We are entering full swing into the summer season, and this is a perfect time to enjoyhummus. For those who are not familiar with hummus, it is a Middle Eastern spread that is made with chickpeas and tahini as the main ingredients.There are many fabulous establishments that serve up some pretty awesome hummus, and one of my favorites is Grapevine Mediterranean Kitchen on Third Avenue inBay Ridge.The owner, Chef Marie, presents with a smooth and creamy hummus, and it is featured in thepicture below.But my love affair with Middle Eastern cuisine started long before I came upon its presenceatour local eateries. Living in Bay Ridge as a child, I began a lifelong friendship with Sandra Speer when we were a mere six years old.Of Syrian descent, Sandra lived in a home that was an inviting celebration of fresh cooked Mediterranean edibles that could truly be described as divine.Sandra’s mom, Mary,would deep roast fresh eggplants to make an outstanding babaganoush for her family, and her lentils were scrumptiouslymouthwatering with an extra crunchy bed of onions tossed on top for even more flavor. =My first experience with hummus and every other Middle Eastern dish I have come to adorestarted via Sandra. Suffice to say, it has been one amazing culinary ride.To help youbegin your own ride with this savory cuisine, it is a pleasure to share my simple hummus recipe. It is just a few easy steps, and the ingredients can be found right in your grocer. No gourmet specialty shops are needed!HUMMUS1 15 oz. can of chickpeas(reserve the liquid)Juice of one lemon (or more to taste)2 tablespoons tahini2cloves garlic1teaspoon salt2tablespoons olive oilPaprika for garnishIn a food processor, pulse ingredients. Stream in the chickpea liquid just as needed until smooth (about half). Sprinkle with paprika and serve with warm pita bread.
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