Amazing Hummus

//Amazing Hummus

Amazing Hummus

The finished product!

Hummus is one of my staple foods. It’s convenient, loaded with protein and fiber, and can be eaten any time of the day. I’ll add it to my avocado toast in the morning to make a more satiating breakfast, use it as a dip for veggies or pita for a healthy, filling snack, or spread it on a wrap filled with veggies for a portable lunch sandwich.

The good news is that hummus can be purchased almost anywhere these days. There are many brands and many different flavors including roasted red pepper, black garlic, and lime cilantro. In fact, there are a few companies which have started making dessert hummus.

Traditional Middle Eastern or Mediterranean hummus is made with garbanzo beans (chickpeas) and tahini (sesame seed butter). But you can now find “hummus” made with a variety of legumes such as black beans, edamame, yellow lentils, and even green peas.

Even though hummus is easily available, not all brands have an ideal texture or flavor. In fact, traditional hummus should be smooth and creamy, and not too dense. You should be able to taste the sesame from the tahini with hints of garlic and lemon. I’ve found that many store-bought brands, even though I buy them all the time for convenience, can be dense, and have flavors can be overpowering. Additionally, almost all contain added oils and preservatives.

It’s easy to make hummus at home. In fact, there are just a few basic ingredients including garbanzo beans, lemon, garlic, and tahini. You can add these to a food processor or high-speed blender along with salt, spices, and optionally a touch of high-quality olive oil, and you’ll quickly have your own hummus. While it’s delicious plain, you can also mix up the spices (I love adding harissa), or add your own roasted peppers, jalapeno peppers, or Kalamata olives. You can substitute black beans and make a southwestern flavored hummus or use edamame to make a more Asian inspired dip.

While the basic process is easy, I’ve learned that there are different techniques which can help to make the hummus smooth and creamy. Recently, the blog Cookie and Kate posted a great write-up on this. Some recommendations include boiling the beans with baking soda for 20 minutes to soften them up, blending the garlic with lemon and letting it rest for 10 minutes to soften the garlic bite, and choosing a high-quality tahini, ideally made from Ethiopian sesame seed. Another trick is to add a couple of tablespoons of ice-cold water to the mixture while blending.

No matter how you approach it, you’ll find that making hummus at home is easy and the result is delicious. For the most part, it’s always going to be better then what you buy at the store, and you get to control what goes inside! Although I usually modify most recipes, this one was perfect as is!

Find the original recipe on the Cookie and Kate blog.

Ingredients:

  • 1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas, rinsed and drained, or 1 ½ cups cooked chickpeas
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda (if you’re using canned chickpeas)
  • ¼ cup lemon juice (from 1 ½ to 2 lemons), more to taste
  • 1 medium-to-large clove garlic, roughly chopped
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt, to taste
  • ½ cup tahini
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons ice water, more as needed
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Any of the following garnishes:  drizzle of olive oil, sprinkle of ground sumac or paprika, chopped fresh parsley

Instructions:

  1. Place the chickpeas in a medium saucepan and add the baking soda. Cover the chickpeas by several inches of water, then bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Continue boiling, reducing heat if necessary to prevent overflow, for about 20 minutes, or until the chickpeas look bloated, their skins are falling off, and they’re quite soft. In a fine-mesh colander, drain the chickpeas and run cool water over them for about 30 seconds. Set aside (no need to peel the chickpeas for this recipe!).

    Boiled, drained chickpeas with cumin

  2. Meanwhile, in a food processor or high-powered blender, combine the lemon juice, garlic and salt. Process until the garlic is very finely chopped, then let the mixture rest so the garlic flavor can mellow, ideally 10 minutes or longer.

    Lemon juice, garlic, and salt blended

  3. Add the tahini to the food processor and blend until the mixture is thick and creamy, stopping to scrape down any tahini stuck to the sides and bottom of the processor as necessary.

    Tahini blended with garlic, salt, and lemon mixture

    Recommended tahini brand

  4. While running the food processor, drizzle in 2 tablespoons ice water. Scrape down the food processor, and blend until the mixture is ultra smooth, pale and creamy. (If your tahini was extra-thick to begin with, you might need to add 1 to 2 tablespoons more ice water.)
  5. Add the cumin and the drained, over-cooked chickpeas to the food processor. While blending, drizzle in the olive oil. Blend until the mixture is super smooth, scraping down the sides of the processor as necessary, about 2 minutes. Add more ice water by the tablespoon if necessary to achieve a super creamy texture.

    After blending in chickpeas, tumeric, and water and processing until smooth

  6. Taste, and adjust as necessary—I almost always add another ¼ teaspoon salt for more overall flavor and another tablespoon of lemon juice for extra zing.
  7. Scrape the hummus into a serving bowl or platter, and use a spoon to create nice swooshes on top. Top with garnishes of your choice, and serve. Leftover hummus keeps well in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 1 week.

NOTES

Recipe adapted from Michael Solomonov, via The New York Times and Bon Appetit, and Yotam Ottolenghi

HOW TO COOK DRY CHICKPEAS IN A HURRY FOR THIS RECIPE: In a large saucepan, combine 5 ounces (¾ cup) dried chickpeas and ½ teaspoon baking soda, and fill the pot with water. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat and skim off the surface foam as needed. Continue boiling over medium-high, adding more water if you start running out, until the chickpeas are very mushy and falling apart, about 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes. Drain in a fine-mesh colander, rinse under cool running water, and drain well before using. Start the recipe at step 2.

2018-06-16T18:07:36+00:00