basil hummus

August 31, 2011

You say “bay-sil”, I say “ba-sul”.

You spell it “hummus”, we spell it “houmous”.

Here’s one thing we can agree on: the time is coming when we all need to use up the basil growing in our gardens and lining our supermarket shelves before frosty mornings kill it off and caprese salads are a sad, distant memory.

Are you sick of pesto? It’s kind of the ubiquitous, basil-user-upper, but what about this: basil hummus. What’s not to like? Two of my favourite things to eat (pesto and hummus for those slow on the uptake), combined into one glorious concoction, perfect for spreading in sandwiches and scooping up with pita bread (yeah, yeah, we spell it “pitta”).

Basil Hummus
from Simply Recipes


  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 2 cups sweet basil leaves, packed
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed then minced
  • 2 15-ounce cans garbanzo beans (chickpeas), rinsed and drained*
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Up to 1/4 cup water
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons salt
  • Several dashes Tabasco
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste


  1. Heat the pine nuts in a small skillet on medium high heat. Stir them when they start to brown. When most of them have lightly browned, remove them from the pan into a bowl to cool. (Reserve a few pine nuts for garnish.)
  2. In the bowl of a food processor, place the basil leaves and the garlic. Pulse until finely chopped. Add the rinsed and drained garbanzo beans, most of the pine nuts, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, tomato paste, and a few dashes of Tabasco. Pulse several times, for several seconds each time, until the hummus is smooth. Add more Tabasco and salt or lemon juice to taste. Add water to the point of desired consistency.
  3. To serve, place in a bowl and drizzle a little olive oil over it. Sprinkle with a few toasted pine nuts. Serve with pita wedges, crackers, or granary bread. Makes about 3 cups of hummus.
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