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July 3, 2013

'Wrap it up' with homemade hummus

My introduction to hummus was made by April, a best friend of Lebanese descent of the past 38 years.

Growing up in the 1960s, she watched all her aunts cook traditional Lebanese foods and learned well from each of them; she makes terrific stuffed grape leaves and kibbee.

Lebanese cuisine is primarily Mediterranean. Besides hummus, other staples are pita bread and rice. Chick peas and yogurt are eaten on almost a daily basis, prepared in different ways.

It was early in our friendship when I first had April’s homemade hummus that she served with a basket of Syrian bread that had been torn into large pieces. (When served in a restaurant, this is often accompanied by red onion and olive oil on the side). I totally enjoyed it and have since made it several times for my boys and my family. It is easy to make in the blender and keeps well in the refrigerator.

Occasionally April would make baba ghanoush, another popular dip made the same as hummus but using eggplant. Baba ghanoush has taken a back seat to hummus, but I cannot understand why; it is delicious and very healthy for you (keep baba ghanoush in mind if you have eggplant growing in your garden this year).

Hummus has always been served primarily as an appetizer or snack. In the last few years it is being used more and more as a substitute for mayonnaise in sandwiches as in the wrap recipes below.

Now that it is summer, when we are more in the sandwich mode, I know you will enjoy these healthy and simple wraps.

Carrots, Greens, & Hummus Wraps

Hummus

2, 16-ounce cans chickpeas (also called garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed

1/2 cup water

Juice of one lemon

5 tablespoons tahini (sesame paste)

3 cloves garlic, crushed

1/4 cup olive oil

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