Hummus is one of my favorite healthy dips, and ever since a Lebanese friend introduced it to us when hubby and I were dating, I can’t get enough of it — the creamy combination of garlic-olive-oil-chickpeas-tahini is unforgettable. It really satisfies like no cheese dip will, and I’m a cheese-lover! Years later, hummus would often be the main attraction at our homeschooling group’s monthly gathering. There it would sit in a bowl at the center of the table, calling out to everyone to have a bit. We would oblige, and tortilla chips from Garden of Eatin’ passed all around, to serve as transport from bowl to hungrily waiting mouth. My recipe has always been the simple one — just chickpeas, garlic, lemon juice, a touch of cumin, salt and pepper, tahini if I had some in the pantry, then topped with a bit of olive oil and chopped parsley. Today, however, I decided to try Dean Ornish’s recipe in Dr. Dean Ornish’s Program for Reversing Heart Disease. Since it has a slew of other things I thought it would be the more exciting version, but it’s actually a bit of a disappointment, rating 6 on my scale of 1-10. Good enough for a dip, but for eating with a spoon (which I’ve been known to do), I still prefer my tried-and-true. The recipe does not include olive oil, so I added a bit at the end just to balance off the flavors a bit more. It is also somewhat on the sour side, so if I ever make this again I’ll reduce the tomato puree to 1/3 cup or get rid of it altogether. I did like the extra kick from the onion, but I *missed* my tahini. Hummus is one of those dishes, I realize, where “leave well enough alone” applies.

1 25-oz can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed (or cook your own from dried beans, using bay leaves in the cooking water)
3/4 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2/3 cup tomato puree
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 teaspoon salt
Minced flat-leaf parsley for garnish

Puree everything in a food processor or blender except for parsley.

Transfer to a bowl for serving and garnish with minced parsley.

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