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Bile & Bloody Bandages

If a mostly uneaten kitty litter cake at one of my Halloween parties has taught me anything, it’s this: Halloween food can look creepy or gross but it shouldn’t be totally unappetizing. And of course, it has to taste good. In my opinion, this chunky hummus and pita toast recipe fits the bill. It’s slightly disturbing...but you know, in a cute way!

You can make the bile, er, hummus a day ahead. Just cover and store it in the refrigerator. The bandages get their bloody effect from sweet paprika or sriracha—both of which taste great with hummus.

4 loaves of white pita (pocket) bread

Olive oil

Sweet paprika

Sriracha or your favorite hot sauce

1-15 oz can of garbanzo beans

1/3 cup chopped red onion

2 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced

1-1/2 TBS tahini (sesame paste)

3-1/2 TBS lemon juice

1/8 cup olive oil

Salt & pepper to taste

Black sesame seeds (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Stick a knife into the outer seam of the pita bread and carefully separate it into two halves. Place each half on a cutting board and using a sharp knife, cut the bread into bandage shapes. They don’t have to be perfect.

Cover a sheet pan with parchment or a silicone mat. Place the pita rough side up on the pan in a single layer. Lightly brush the pita with olive oil. For a dried blood effect, sprinkle the middle of the bandages with paprika. For a wet blood effect, just brush the bandages with olive oil and bake; right before serving, drizzle the bandages with sriracha (otherwise, the pita can become slightly soggy where the hot sauce sits).

Bake for 8 – 10 minutes or until the pita is lightly brown and crunchy. Remove from the oven and set aside.

Meanwhile, drain most of the liquid from the can of garbanzo beans but do not rinse. Add the beans, onion, garlic, tahini, and lemon juice to a food processor. Pulse a few times while drizzling in the olive oil. You want the hummus to be chunky rather than smooth. Taste the hummus and add salt and pepper to your liking.

Pour into a serving bowl and garnish with black sesame seeds. Serve with the bandages.

Don’t Freak Out!

1) You can substitute unsweetened peanut butter for the tahini; just make sure none of your party-goers are allergic to peanuts!

2) I don’t use red food dye because I happen to be allergic to it but you can always dab a bit of red dye in the center of the bandages and bake them off.

3) You can also use flour tortillas instead of the pita bread. Or make it gluten-free and use corn tortillas (depending on the thickness of the corn tortillas, they may need a few more minutes in the oven). Or just serve the bile with blue, red, or black tortilla chips.

4) Serve the bile with store-bought stuffed grape leaves or carrot sticks made from maroon carrots—call them Zombie Fingers and Witch Nails, if you’d like!

5) Don't throw out the scraps of pita bread. You can add them to the sheet pan with the bandages and bake them (you don't even have to add any oil). Use the bits for breadcrumbs or to garnish the top of your favorite soup.

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