The new Olive Cafe in midtown is reviewed in this week's Pitch. There are many excellent dishes on its menu, but owner-chef Haron Mansi's hummus is particularly creamy and delicious.
Some historians date the chickpea spread (hummus is the Arabic word for chickpea) to pre-dynastic Egypt, 7,000 years ago. But only recently has the flavorful dip -- typically made of cooked and mashed chickpeas, sesame paste, garlic, lemon juice and olive oil -- become so popular that it's popping up on appetizer menus even at non-Mediterranean restaurants.
Where's the best hummus in Kansas City?
Not all of the variations are very traditional. The Beer Kitchen in Westport offers a Southern American spin on the historic concoction, a black-eyed-pea hummus. Several saloons in town offer a roasted-red-pepper hummus as a starter.
But the real thing -- the basic mashed chickpea recipe -- is a good litmus test for a restaurant, especially a Middle Eastern dining spot. If it can't pull off hummus, then nothing on the menu will be very good.
Five excellent hummus selections around the metro: