When I was 23, broke and new to New York City, I had two choices for dinner: spaghetti with tomato sauce, or hummus and bread. That’s all I could splurge on. So I got to know hummus very well. Mostly I had the store-bought kind, but now and again I’d make my own, and it won by miles. And the best of them all is this one by Sara Forte of Sprouted Kitchen (with herbs!)…

The Best Hummus You’ll Ever Have
By Sara Forte of Sprouted Kitchen—who has a new cookbook!

Hummus is my go-to condiment. I put it on my eggs in the morning, use it as a spread for a veggie wrap, thin it out with more lemon juice to make a creamy salad dressing, or dress it up on a nice platter with fresh-cut veggies and crostini for guests. It’s safe for most dietary/allergy restrictions and is so versatile! I just love it. My version, which is the one I share in my cookbook, uses a roasted shallot instead of the traditional garlic cloves for a unique flavor. I add in lots of herbs, whatever I have on hand, and a generous amount of lemon juice to keep it tasting light. The specks of green look pretty, taste delicious, and smell fragrant. It’s a great base for any of your favorite hummus add-ins, like olives or artichoke hearts. Just throw it in there.

The recipe below will give you a pretty hearty hummus, if you like it on the thinner side, pulse in a bit more water or lemon juice. It will firm up more in the fridge.

Lemon and Herb Hummus
Serves 6-8

You’ll need:
3 cups cooked garbanzo beans
1 roasted shallot, see note
3 tbsp. tahini
Zest and juice of one lemon
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. fresh ground pepper
Pinch of red pepper flakes
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tbsp fresh parsley
3 tbsp. fresh dill
3 tbsp. basil leaves

Optional garnish:
1/2 an English cucumber, sliced thin
1 tbsp. fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 tbsp. Champagne vinegar
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese, optional

In a food processor, combine the beans, roasted shallot, tahini, lemon zest and juice, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes and pulse to combine. With the motor running, stream in the olive oil and stop at desired smoothness (I like mine a bit textured). Tear the herbs up a bit with your fingers and add to the hummus, pulse a few times until combined. Add more if you’d like. Taste for salt and pepper; and, if you’d like, thin it out with a few tablespoons of water or more lemon juice.

Note: For the roasted shallot, peel and cut it into quarters. Rub a bit of olive oil on the surface and roast at 400 F for about 20 minutes. This is quickest in a toaster oven, and can be done in advance. If you are short on time, 2 cloves of garlic make a fine alternative.

The following is an optional garnish for the hummus plate. It is not completely necessary, but adds a little something different. Slice the cucumber paper thin and toss it with the chopped parsley and vinegar. Put the hummus on a serving plate, top with the cucumber mix, feta cheese and fresh herbs for garnish.

Thank you so much, Sara, and congratulations on your cookbook!

(Recipe reprinted with permission from The Sprouted Kitchen by Sara Forte, copyright © 2012. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc. Photo credit: Hugh Forte © 2012. Thanks again, Sara)