My grandma was the queen of Thanksgiving. Actually, she was the queen of the kitchen in general. I remember one Thanksgiving, my dad called to let her know we were on our way and she listed all the pies she had made. He jokingly said, “What, no blueberry?” By the time we arrived, an hour and a half later, a blueberry pie was coming out of the oven.
My grandma, who was born in America to Armenian immigrants from Aleppo, served a Thanksgiving dinner complete with all the traditional American dishes. But while we waited for the main event, she put out a more Armenian-inspired spread: Armenian string cheese, pita bread, olives, veggies and hummus that we all noshed on throughout the day. (I sometimes joke that we were eating hummus before hummus was cool. I literally knew nobody outside of my family who ate hummus when I was a kid!)
It crushes me some days that my grandma passed before my girls were born. She would have adored them so much, and they her. But I love that I can share a bit of her in the kitchen. And Peanut absolutely LOVES hummus. On everything. Carrots, cucumbers, apples, bagels, waffles, you name it. (I think part of the appeal is that toddlers love dipping.) So, I decided she’s old enough now to help me make it, and we made a batch together using my grandma’s recipe.
- 4 cans garbanzo beans
- 6 cloves crushed garlic
- 2 cups tahini (shake well before opening)
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 cup lemon juice
- Salt to taste
- Place garbanzo beans, with liquid in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Remove from stove.
- Puree the beans with a little of the liquid in a food processor.
- Place in large bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.
- Add lemon juice and salt to taste. (I usually end up running everything back through the food processor in batches to mix well and add in a little more liquid from the beans until it reaches the desired consistency, and more lemon to taste.)
- Serve cold with sprinkled ground cumin and chopped parsley. (I skipped the parsley, because toddlers tend to be particular about green, leafy things.)
This makes quite a bit of hummus. You can cut the recipe in half, or you can portion it and freeze some.
It’s really pretty simple to make, but I tend to be a hummus purist. Roasted red pepper was a stretch for me. Dessert hummus is absurd and unnecessary. I will take this classic any day!