Having eaten more St. Louis-style Italian dishes than one can imagine, I know all too well that what makes a perfect Italian dish is a perfect blend of seasonings. I have my favorites. This recipe, modified from Drizzle and Drip’s version, is similar to the season blends I love, plus I add in a few twists.
I actually prepared this hummus for a Super Bowl Party in early February. Even though I wasn’t thrilled with the somewhat chunky consistency of my hummus–the enriching aspects of being a graduate student also come with less enriching realities, like mediocre food processors–it was still a big hit at the party. Again, I blame a good blend of seasonings and one of my favorite all time flavors, simmered tomato.
Ingredients (makes about 2 cups)
- 1 T extra virgin olive oil
- 2 T chopped onions
- 2 T tomato paste
- 2t dried oregano
- 1t dried basil /or finely chopped fresh (I used fresh because I didn’t have dry)
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
- 1 tin of chickpeas /garbanzo beans , drained and rinsed – (but save the liquid)
- 2 T cup tahini
- 1T fresh lemon juice
- optional: 1t sea salt / kosher salt
- optional: ground caraway seed
-In a small pan, add olive oil, onions, and the first two herbs. Simmer for a minute or so, then add in tomato paste. Simmer another minute.
-Add in chickpeas and garlic. Simmer 3-4 minutes so the flavors become more robust.
-Transfer to food processor. Start processing.
-If your food processor is awful like mine, gradually add in the chickpeas and paste. Alternate settings. Stir frequently and gradually start introducing the tahini, lemon juice, a little more olive oil if you like, salt, and caraway. (Caraway gives a nice pizza spice flavor, I think, but that may be a uniquely St. Louisan preference.)
-Continue to process until you reach a consistency you like. If the dip starts to look too dry, you can add in some of the chickpea juice or more olive oil to keep it moist. Sprinkle with some more Italian herbs and serve with your favorite veggies or pita triangles.