First, the basic ingredients of hummus: canned chick peas (also known as garbanzo beans), lemon juice, garlic, salt and tahini. Wait. What in the world is tahini?? And, where do I get it? Tahini is basically the sesame seed's equivalent of natural peanut butter. You can buy it at almost any supermarket, in their ethnic food section, or at a natural foods store. It does require some stirring, just like natural peanut butter, but it is worth it. Do NOT, and I repeat, do NOT think that hummus recipes using olive oil will give you the same taste. They won't. Blehhhh. Olive oil is for optionally drizzling on the top!
SO, what are these little tips?
First, start off with an equal amount of tahini to lemon juice: 1/4 cup each. Put them both into the food processor. The trick is to emulsify these two together first, creating a wonderful cream. Once it looks nice and creamy, it is time to add the minced garlic.
How much garlic? Oh, who knows. If you like a lot (and I like a lot!), add 4-5 teaspoons. If you aren't a huge fan of strong garlicky things, just add a little. Blend that all together. Now, you need to decide what type of hummus you are making. A basic recipe, for me, includes cumin and dried dill. Again, not measuring but probably close to a teaspoon each. At this point, you could also add olives or roasted red peppers or artichokes. Your choice. Blend, blend, blend.
Now, open up your can of chickpeas and drain them. Rinse them too, because that gets rid of the can taste. Add your chickpeas a handful at a time. Don't get impatient, or you'll end up with lumpy hummus. Blend until each handful is smooth. Do this until you have added the entire can. If your hummus starts to seem dry, add a teaspoon of water at a time.
Eventually, you will end up with a beautiful hummus. Gobble it down with pita chips, or some fresh veggies.