Once a mispronounced hippie food, hummus is now so mainstream that there are several competing brands in the dairy aisle. It’s so ubiquitous that even babies and grandmas love the stuff. But for good reason. It’s vegetarian but not weird, so even carnivores love it. (In fact, you can spread it on meat; if you don’t believe me, smear some on your next grilled chicken sandwich.) It’s packed with protein and healthy fats so you don’t have to feel guilty about eating a bunch of it at a party, the way you would with, say, spinach-artichoke dip. And hummus is really versatile; it’s a dip for crudites and pita, a sandwich spread, you can use it to make not-so-dry turkey burgers, add a dollop to grilled portobello mushrooms or use it as a salad dressing, thinned with some fresh lemon juice. When you need a break from traditional hummus, start adding extra stuff in, like sun-dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts or chopped dill. And you don’t even have to stick to chickpeas when you’re making hummus — try white bean hummus, black bean hummus or Ellie Krieger’s Edamame Hummus.
No matter how many brands show up at the grocery store, homemade always tastes best to me. If you’ve never made it before, don’t be scared. All it takes is 10 minutes and a food processor — you basically throw everything in, press a button and wait, with a pita in hand, for it to be done.