Although it originated in the Middle East, hummus has rapidly become a popular and nutritious snack food. Although it can be purchased in the ethnic food section of nearly any supermarket, it only takes a few minutes to make fresh hummus. Although hummus is traditionally used as a dip for chips, vegetables or pita bread, it makes a tasty spread for crackers or sandwiches. Hummus is an adaptable recipe that can easily be altered to suit your personal tastes, and pine nuts will give it an especially distinctive and nutty flavor.
Drain the juice from two cans of garbanzo beans or chickpeas. Reserve the juice to use later.
Put 8 to 10 fresh garlic cloves on a cutting board, and mince it finely. Put the garbanzo beans or chickpeas in a blender or food processor, and add the minced garlic.
Add 1/4 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice, 1/2 cup of tahini, 1/3 cup of olive oil or canola oil. 2 tsp. salt and 1/2 cup of the reserved juice from the garbanzo beans or chickpeas.
Blend the ingredients to a smooth paste. If the consistency is too thick, add more olive oil or reserved garbanzo or chickpea juice. Add 1 tbsp. cayenne and 1 tsp. salt to the hummus mixture, and blend well. You may want to add slightly more or less cayenne and salt, according to your taste.
Add 2 to 3 tbsp. toasted pine nuts, and blend well. If desired, reserve a few of the pine nuts as a garnish to sprinkle on top of the hummus. Serve the hummus immediately, or store it in the refrigerator for later use.