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Basil hummus picnic dip

Packable basil hummus makes it an ideal side dish for a late summer picnic.

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    Basil boosts the flavor of this chickpea based homemade hummus.
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Summer in Portland is a dream. Except when it’s 100+ degrees F., but that rarely happens so I maintain: summer in Portland = A DREAM.

PICNICS! Is there a better way to do dinner than packing up (easy-to-make) food and getting outside? Fortunately, our apartment is mere blocks from a few parks! Perfect for casual, easy, last-minute, no-fuss picnics. Marc and I set out to do just that last weekend and enjoyed the beautiful weather by eating on a blanket in the park.

One of my priorities for this particular picnic was ease of eating. Like, can I eat it on a chip? Can I scoop it with a cracker? Can I leave my utensils at home? I definitely could have done just that! I packed some of my favorite multigrain and blue corn tortilla chips. Who needs spoons when you have chips? One of my favorite things about these chips, besides having a huge range of flavors (Sriracha? Sweet potato? Black Bean!? I love ’em), is that they have a bunch of sprouted grains – flax, chia, and quinoa, to name a few. Sprouted grains = healthy boost!

Recommended: 22 summer salads

Get ready for a weekend picnic!

Basil Hummus Picnic Dip
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 30 mins
Total time: 35 mins
Serves: 4 cups

1-1/4 cups dried chickpeas
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons tahini
3 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1/3 cup packed fresh basil leaves
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
4 tablespoons ice water
Corn tortilla chips

1. Soak the chickpeas overnight in plenty of water. The next day, drain them.

2. In a saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the drained chickpeas and the baking soda. Cook for three minutes, stirring the entire time. Add 6.5 cups of fresh water and bring to a simmer. Cook for 20-40 minutes (will depend on your chickpeas), until the chickpeas are very soft to the touch. Drain.

3. Process the chickpeas (alone) in a food processor until very smooth and thick. With the processor running, add the tahini, lemon juice, garlic cloves, basil, and salt. Once that is smooth, slowly drizzle in the ice water (processor is still running) and continue processing for 5 more minutes. It should be extremely smooth!

4. Remove the hummus from the processor, cover, and refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving with chips of your choice.

Related post on The Kitchen Paper: Summer Corn Quinoa Salad

The Christian Science Monitor has assembled a diverse group of food bloggers. Our guest bloggers are not employed or directed by The Monitor and the views expressed are the bloggers' own and they are responsible for the content of their blogs and their recipes. All readers are free to make ingredient substitutions to satisfy their dietary preferences, including not using wine (or substituting cooking wine) when a recipe calls for it. To contact us about a blogger, click here.

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