What's for dinner: Three-Color Hummus

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Three-Color Hummus

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Need an easy, no-mess dish that also serves a crowd to take to a party over the Fourth of July weekend? This multi-hued, make-ahead hummus is fresh and simple, and comes in three flavors. Serve with fresh veggies or assorted olives instead of pita chips and it’‍s also gluten-free.

This makes a lot of dip, but that‘‍s a good problem: Hummus also can be used as a spread on sandwiches in place of mayo or mustard, as a filling in deviled eggs, as salad dressing (blend with vinegar) or as a topping for pizza. 

4½ cups cooked garbanzo beans (rinsed and drained if canned)

2/3 cup tahini paste

1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

3 large garlic cloves, coarsely chopped

1/2 cup water

3 teaspoons salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup plus 1 teaspoon oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped

1 1/4 cups packed baby spinach

1/2 cup packed fresh flat-leaf parsley

Garlic-Whole Wheat Pita Chips (recipe follows)

Combine beans, tahini, 1/3 cup oil, 1/3 cup lemon juice, the garlic, 1/2 cup water, salt and a few grinds of pepper in a food processor. Process until mixture is smooth, stopping at least once to scrape down sides of the bowl. If hummus is too thick, thin it by adding 2 tablespoons at a time of cold water. Remove 1 2/3 cups of the puree and transfer to a serving bowl. Season with salt and pepper. This is the classic hummus. 

Remove an additional 1 2/3 cups hummus and set aside (for green hummus).

Red hummus: Add sun-dried tomatoes and 2 tablespoons water to hummus remaining in the food processor. Process until mixture is smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer red hummus to a serving bowl.

Green hummus: Rinse food processor bowl and blade. Place spinach and parsley in bowl and pulse until mixture is finely chopped. Add reserved plain hummus, and remaining 2 tablespoons oil and 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Process until smooth, and season with salt and pepper. Transfer green hummus to a serving bowl.

Serve with pita chips.

Serves 8 to 12.

-- “Straight from the Earth” by Myra Goodman and Marea Goodman (Chronicle, April 2014, $27.50)

Garlic-Whole Wheat Pita Chips

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons pressed garlic

1/4 teaspoon salt

4 whole-wheat pitas, split in half

Position rack in lower half of oven and preheat to 350 degrees.

Whisk together oil, garlic and salt. With pastry brush, brush split side surfaces of pitas with oil and garlic mixture. Cut each pita round in half, then again into 3 or 4 pie-shaped wedges. Arrange chips in single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, or until pitas are fragrant and being to crisp. Remove from oven and let cool before serving.

Serves 8.

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