Chick Peas, cooked from dried or canned – 4 cups
Onion – 1 large, chopped
Olive Oil – ¼ cup
Lemon Juice – ½ cup
Cumin – ¼ cup
Garlic Powder – 2 teaspoons
Salt – 1 teaspoon (or less if chick peas are salted)
Cayenne or Chipoltle Pepper Powder – 1 to 1½ teaspoons or to taste
Tahini – 2/3 to 1 cup
Sun Dried Tomatoes (optional) – ½ cup, re-hydrated in hot water and chopped
Fresh Cilantro and/or Parsley (optional) – 2 to 3 Tablespoons of each

If using sun dried tomatoes, heat ½ cup of water and pour over tomatoes to re-hydrate.

In a food processor, (depending on the size of your processor) process 2 cups of chick peas with the lemon juice, onion, salt, pepper and cumin until smooth. Use a spatula to move this mixture to a large bowl.

Process the other two cups of chick peas with the olive oil and add to the bowl. Add the tahini. Add the optional ingredients such as chopped sun dried tomatoes, fresh cilantro and parsley. Stir to mix. Taste and correct seasoning by adding salt, lemon juice, cumin or pepper.

Serve at room temperature or put in a container with a little olive oil drizzled on the top and store in refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Makes 6 cups. Freezes well. A real crowd pleaser!

Variations – substitute roasted eggplant for chick peas to make Baba Ghanoush

Camille 7/4/10