I don’t have anything against tahini. I love it. It’s just that I never seem to have any around when I need it. Then, if I buy a jar, it seems to sit in the refrigerator unused forever. So the other day when I had a craving for hummus, I decided to improvise. I may have discovered something awesome: a basic hummus recipe with a window full of opportunites.

Almond Hummus

1 can of chickpeas, drained reserving some of the liquid
1/4 cup almonds
1 small clove of garlic
1 T olive oil
splash of lemon juice
hungarian paprika, optional

The first thing you’ll want to do is remove the almond skins. You could skip this step, but the color and texture might be weird. Drop the almonds in some boiling water (I just microwaved some water in a mug) for about a minute. Drain and cool to the touch. Pinch the almond and the skins should pop right off.

Drop the garlic clove in a food processor and chop it into bitty pieces before adding the other ingredients. The flavor will blend better. Then add the chickpeas, almonds, olive oil, a splash or two of lemon juice and a couple pinches of salt. Process and slowly add some of the reserved chickpea water until you get a nice consistency.

I like to sprinkle a little bit of paprika on top, but the sky’s the limit. This hummus has a nice, mellow taste that can blend well with so many different flavors. I already have a few ideas: lime juice with cilantro and jalepeño, mixing in fresh mint or basil leaves, trying cashews or walnuts.

Tahini definitely gives hummus a distinctive taste and I do love it so. However, I’m looking forward to experimenting with variations of this recipe. Let me know if you try it and discover a special combination of your own.

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