Levon Wallace is executive chef of Proof On Main in Louisville, Kentucky.
I've bounced around a lot up and down the east coast from Cape Cod to Florida, and this dip--which is one of my favorites--was inspired by all the boiled peanut vendors that I'd always come across on the side of the road down South in the lowcountry. If you've never had a boiled peanut before it might sound weird, but the flavor profile really isn't that different from a chickpea--it has the creamy earthiness of a bean. That's why they really lend themselves to hummus. When you're making the dip, you need to make sure to use raw, not roasted peanuts--but otherwise, just treat them like you would any bean: simmer them in salted water until they're tender and then have at it!
Serve with: Crisp, very thinly sliced olive toasts drizzled with olive oil and parmesan really reaffirm the Mediterranean flavors of the dip, but still with a southern twist. I really like the kalamata bread that La Brea makes, though you could also go with grilled pita or lavash instead. It really boils down to preference. A malty brown ale is also a great pairing--it really plays off the richness and tang from lemon and feta.
Pro tip: If you're having friends over to graze and you want to go all out, make your own crackers. It could be as simple as a flatbread cracker dough sprinkled with caraway, fennel, and any seed blend for a little crunch. A basic cracker like that is uncomplicated to make and always fun.