DSC09281-001Artichoke hearts and tangy Kalamata olives are blended with chickpeas and Mediterranean herbs to create this savory dip and spread. A food processor is recommended for a textured dip (which is ideal for this recipe) but a high-powered blender can also be used for a smoother texture.

• 1 can (about 14 oz.) garbanzo beans (chickpeas), rinsed thoroughly and drained well
• ¼ cup sesame tahini
• ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
• 2 cloves garlic
• juice of 1 lemon
• 1 tsp dried oregano
• 1 tsp dried basil
• ¾ tsp sea salt or kosher salt, or more to taste
• ¼ tsp coarse ground black pepper, or more to taste
• 1 can (about 14 oz.) artichoke hearts, rinsed and drained well (about 8 oz. after draining)
• ½ cup pitted Kalamata olives, drained well and cut in half to ensure that there are no stray pits
• optional garnish: chopped fresh parsley, chopped Kalamata olives and a drizzle of olive oil

Place the chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, oregano, basil, salt and black pepper into a food processor and process into a coarse paste.

Add the artichoke hearts and olives and process until blended but slightly chunky (or smooth if you prefer); season with additional salt and pepper to taste (keep in mind that the olives are inherently salty). Refrigerate to blend the flavors.

Garnish with chopped fresh parsley, chopped olives and a drizzle of olive oil before serving, if desired. Serve with toasted pita wedges or crackers, or use as a sandwich spread.

Mediterranean Kalamata Olive and Artichoke Hummus
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