David Lebovitz, one of my favorite food writers, recently wrote an article about hummus on his blog, and it inspired me to make some. I know some people might not think it’s worth it to make hummus from scratch but I’ve never been a fan of store-bought. It’s typically made with soybean oil as opposed to olive oil, citric acid as opposed to lemon juice, and preservatives. Homemade hummus is much tastier and healthier, and is made from ingredients you can keep readily on hand — a few cans of chickpeas, extra virgin olive oil, a scoop of tahini, freshly squeezed lemon juice, garlic and spices. Just give it all a whirl in the food processor and you’re done.
Before we get to the recipe, a few words about the ingredients. Some hummus aficionados will tell you it’s important to use dried chick peas, but I assure you it’s not worth the effort. I’ve made it using both dried and canned and there’s virtually no difference. Just look for organic canned chick peas without extra salt and additives (if you’re going to cheat, do it properly). You’ll also find some recipes out there that call for peeling the chick peas. I’m not joking. Supposedly, the skins prevent the hummus from getting super creamy. Again, I’ve tried it, it took forever and I could barely tell a difference. The important thing is to have the right balance of flavors, and enough liquid to achieve a smooth and creamy consistency.
Begin by draining the chick peas in a colander. You’ll need to save the canning liquid for the recipe and set aside a few whole chick peas for serving.
Next, combine the chick peas, some of the canning liquid, tahini, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt and spices in the bowl of a food processor.
Blitz for a few minutes until smooth and creamy, adding more of the reserved liquid to thin the hummus if desired. It should hold its shape, but not be claggy.
Transfer the dip to a bowl and use a spoon to form a shallow well in the center. Drizzle a bit of olive oil in the well, sprinkle with paprika and parsley, and top with reserved whole chick peas. Serve with pita wedges, pita chips or crudités. Enjoy!
- 2 15-1/2 oz. cans chick peas (also called garbanzo beans)
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, from 2 lemons
- 1/4 cup sesame tahini, well stirred (preferably Joyva Sesame Tahini)
- 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- Heaping 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 1 tablespoon freshly chopped parsley, for serving (optional)
- Paprika, for serving (optional)
- Reserving the liquid from the can, drain the chick peas in a colander. Set a few chick peas aside for garnish.
- In the bowl of a food processor fitted with metal blade, combine the chick peas, 1/3 cup reserved canning liquid, lemon juice, tahini, garlic, cumin, cayenne pepper, salt and olive oil. Process for several minutes until smooth and creamy. The hummus should hold its shape but not be claggy; add more liquid and process again if it seems too thick. Taste and add more lemon and seasoning if desired.
- Transfer mixture to a serving dish. Use a spoon to make a shallow well in the center. Drizzle olive oil in the well, sprinkle with parsley and parika, and garnish with reserved chick peas. Serve at room temperature.