Roasted Garlic Hummus Dip

I have a confession to make: I am a garlic fiend.  An unabashed and rampant one.  You know that feeling when you start to salivate at the sight or smell of some food item?  For me, it’s garlic without a doubt.

Few months ago, I had grill-your-own-food dinner at Gyu-Kaku, where my friend insisted on ordering fresh garlic for grilling.  I’ve never tried grilling it, but after eating one clove, I was hooked.  Completely hooked.  Not mindful of the fact that I had to attend a black-tie event for work the following evening, I proceeded to eat maybe ten more cloves (while he watched amusingly and did not stop me).  The next day, my coworker pulled me aside and asked me, albeit with a mischievous smile, “Did you eat garlic?”  My heart…just…dropped.  I was completely unaware of the fact that the garlic stench was practically oozing out of my pores!  I tried everything that day- mint gum, mouth wash, drinking lots and lots of water with lemon- and nothing helped.  The smell lingered all day and night, and it was so strong that I could ward off vampires, and more perhaps!  I sprayed maybe half of a bottle of perfume on my skin and clothes, hoping it would at least mask some of that garlic odor.  After that embarrassing incident, I avoided garlic for a long, long time.  I didn’t eat garlic bread, didn’t cook with garlic, and would not eat anything that smelled remotely of garlic.  I even un-bookmarked a garlic soup recipe in Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking that I had been meaning to try.

Recently, I thought about a roasted garlic dip I had made in the past.  Raw garlic tends to be a bit pungent for me, but when garlic is cooked- preferably roasted- the flavors become much more sweet and mellow.  It is so delicious when mixed into a hummus.  Everything in moderation, right?

As part of the recipe testing, I made sure it would not create that garlic-oozing-out-of-pores effect.  Good intentions? Always. Friends don’t let friends reek of garlic.

Roasted Garlic Hummus Dip
(makes about 2 cups)

1 head of garlic
1 14 oz can chickpeas/garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves
Salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 375°F. Cut garlic in half (leaving the skin on) so that the garlic cloves are exposed.  Drizzle with a little olive oil and wrap in tin foil.  Roast garlic in oven for 45 minutes to one hour.  Remove and allow to cool.

Using your fingers, squeeze the soft, roasted garlic out of each clove into a food processor.  Add the remaining ingredients and process until smooth.  Add more olive oil if the hummus is too thick.

Serve cold or at room temperature with pita chips, pita bread, or fresh vegetables.

*The dip can be made ahead.  Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

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