Turn one hummus recipe into three variations: garlic, roasted red bell pepper, and mixed olive and use them to build a party-ready mezze platter to feed a crowd.
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Base Hummus Batch: 3 (14-ounce) cans cooked chickpeas, drained (4 ½ cups) 1 cup well-stirred sesame tahini ½ cup olive oil, plus more for serving 6 medium cloves garlic, peeled 1/3 – ½ cup freshly squeezed, strained lemon juice (from about 3-4 medium lemons) ¾ - 1 teaspoon kosher salt (to your taste) ½ - 1 cup warm water as needed
Garlic Hummus: Whole chickpeas, parsley leaves, and smoked paprika for serving
Olive Hummus: 3 tablespoons chopped Pearls Specialties Whole Kalamata Olives, plus more for serving 3 tablespoons chopped Pearls Specialties Garlic Stuffed Queen Olives, plus more for serving
Red Bell Pepper Hummus: 1/3 cup chopped roasted bell peppers from a jar, plus more for serving crumbled feta and ground black pepper for serving
For silky smooth hummus, first peel the skin from each chickpea and discard – it will slip off easily. Place the chickpeas in the bowl of a large food processor or blender (use a high-speed blender for the smoothest hummus). Add the tahini, olive oil, garlic, and the smaller amounts of the lemon juice, salt, and water. Blend the hummus, starting on low and increasing the speed to high until silky smooth, about 3 minutes. Taste, adding more lemon, salt, or water as needed to taste and to reach a smooth consistency. Divide the hummus into thirds. Add one third back to the food processor or blender and add the olives. Pulse until the olives are coarsely incorporated into the hummus, about twelve 1-second pulses. Remove to a bowl and chill until needed. Add another third of hummus to the bowl and add the roasted red bell peppers. Blend until smooth, about 30 seconds. When ready to serve, place each hummus in a serving bowl. Top the garlic hummus with chickpeas, olive oil, parsley, and paprika. Top the red pepper hummus chopped roasted peppers and crumbled feta. And top the olive hummus with olive oil and chopped olives. Extra hummus keeps well, refrigerated airtight, for up to 1 week.