Posted by: Rachel | February 20, 2012

ebony and ivory…

I wanted to take something savory to the bash, as I knew these folks and their friends and was certain there would be sufficient desserts (oh and I was right oh my!).

One of the couple loves olives, the other can’t stand ’em, so while tapenade was fine and dandy, it didn’t fill the entire bill. I decided to make that and a traditional hummus.

Plenty easy, and best done a day or two ahead. With a food processor it takes just a few minutes, and it looks so pretty (she said modestly). And, I think the two dishes complement each other, so if you like olives and chickpeas (I do, I do!), you’ll be very happy!

You can certainly use canned chickpeas. If you have the time and foresight, feel free to soak then cook a couple of cups of dried, but it isn’t necessary. I’m all for quick and easy, myself!

I will share my basic recipe. You can make larger or smaller amounts easily, add more garlic if you like (I do, but some of my friends don’t, so I go easy), add more tahini or skip it altogether if you don’t care for it or if it isn’t readily available.

I like lots of lemon juice, but you may want to start out with a bit less. Also, I like it a little chunky but some folks prefer it completely smooth. You getting my drift? Play it your way!

Basic Hummus

a split bowl of tapenade and hummus

half a bowl is better than none...

2 cans chickpeas, drained with the liquid reserved*
3 T tahini
2 cloves garlic, chopped then well mashed
juice and chopped zest of 1 lemon
about 1/4 C of the reserved liquid, as needed

Put everything in a food processor except the reserved liquid and puree as coarse or fine as you like adding the reserved liquid by tablespoons as needed. Taste for lemon and garlic, remembering that flavors will mellow a bit as they meld.

*If you cook your chickpeas, save a bit of the cooking water (well cooled) to use as a thinning agent as there will be no “can liquid”. Or, just add a bit of water.

You can top this with a sprinkling of paprika if you like, smoked, hot or sweet. I didn’t do that this time as I wanted the hummus to contrast with the tapenade. Serve with crackers, small toasts, apple slices (yes, really!) or whatever carrier strikes you fancy. Share with friends, and celebrate whatever you like! If there happens to be leftovers, you can store this covered in the fridge for a few days at least. Mmmm…



  1. Any other hints on using tahini??? Thx

    • I *do* have some ideas, and I’ll share. I buy my tahini in bulk so I can get as much (or as little) as I need without lots of leftovers, but I know most folks have to buy a whole jar. Good news is that it does keep fairly well. Ideas coming soon I promise!

  2. Oh, yes, these are two of my favourites too, and they go so well together!

    • I actually love to put a bit of each on the same cracker… mmmmm! Olives and chickpeas… a new blog idea? 🙂

  3. I´d be the one at the party sitting by the bowl, dipping in and scowling at people who dared to come near it!

    • You crack me up. Perhaps if you’d been there we’d have had a bit left over… or not!

  4. This sounds sooo delicious! I have always picked up hummus from Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s… it would be wonderful to be able to boast that my hummus is home-made. Sounds easy and yummy!

    • What’s nice is that you can really make it how *you* like, and spice it “custom”. Of course, you can doctor the store bought stuff too, but this really is easy!

  5. Tapenade and hummus as two of my favorite appetizers…I’m sure it disappeared in a hurry.

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