Hummus is one of those ancient mysteries of food and chemistry. Every recipe calls for basically the same ingredients—and every dish is different. This one is easy because you use canned chick peas. The better the olive oil, the richer it will be. Cumin is a nontraditional twist, but don’t be stingy with it if you like a spicy kick. However you make your hummus, though, let it sit for while before you commit to the final seasonings. It needs time for the flavors to meld. SAM

2 (15-ounce) cans chick peas, drained and rinsed
Juice of 2 small lemons (4 tablespoons)
1/2 cup olive oil, plus additional for serving
1/2 cup tahini
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 teaspoon toasted, ground cumin, or to taste
Sea salt to taste
1/8 to 1/4 cup water (as needed)
Pita bread for serving

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the chick peas, lemon juice, 1/2 cup olive oil, tahini, garlic, cumin, and salt. Process with an immersion blender until smooth, thinning with water as necessary until the hummus is the consistency of ricotta cheese. To serve, place a small amount of hummus on a plate and fill a well in the center with additional olive oil. Serve with pita bread.
Makes 3 cups.

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