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This chickpea bean and tahini dip is one of the most widely recognized of all Middle Eastern dishes.
1. Drain the chickpeas, reserving about 5 tbsp of the canning liquid in a small bowl. Carefully rinse the chickpeas under cold running water. Drain well and transfer to a food processor or a blender along with half of the reserved canning liquid.
2. Add the lemon juice, tahini, and garlic and blend until smooth and creamy, adding a little more of the canning liquid as needed.
3. Season to taste with salt. Transfer the hummus to a small serving bowl, sprinkle with paprika, and serve at room temperature.
Red Pepper Hummus: Position a broiler rack about 6in (15cm) from the source of heat and preheat the broiler. Cut in half lengthwise and seed a small red pepper. Grill, skin side up, until lightly charred. Cool, peel, and roughly chop the pepper. Add to the blender along with the chickpeas. If the pepper is juicy, add less canning liquid. Add 1 tsp ground cumin for a spicier flavor.
Good with warm pita bread and sticks of carrot, cucumber, and sweet pepper. For a traditional finish, drizzle with olive oil in addition to the paprika garnish.
Prepare ahead: Make the dip up to 24 hours in advance. Store in the refrigerator, covered with plastic wrap. Remove the hummus from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before serving.
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