Hummus

Did you know there are people in this world who don’t like hummus?

I know, I was super confused too. How can you not like something that is so creamy, dreamy and versatile? Fluffy pita bread and hummus is my second favorite “table bread” at restaurants (fresh, warm bread and seasoned olive oil will always have my heart, forever and ever!) and have you ever had a veggie and hummus wrap? Holy crap. So good.

What makes this magical dip even better is that it is really easy to make! If you have a food processor. Which I do not. So when my parent’s asked me if I could house/dog sit while they went to Vegas (party animals) I was all “Duh, of course I’ll watch Max while you’re gone”, while in my head I was all “Duh, I’ll destroy the kitchen and use every appliance I don’t own myself in two days.” Just me, my dog and that kitchen. It was honestly the best weekend I’ve had this year.

In related new, I’m super lame.

I was really excited to come here and tell you guys all about how I had perfected my hummus recipe and still cut down on the oil content. But then I got a little excited when I was getting ready to photograph the stuff and accidentally poured A WHOLE LOT  of oil  ( and paprika for some reason) all over it, as evidenced in the photo above. Whoops. So, if you’re not trying to impress your internet friends with 80 photos of the same dish, you can avoid a lot of extra oil. But in the spirit of being honest, the more oil the more delicious. Truth hurts.

So while this may not taste exactly like the hummus you’ll get at restaurant it’s still pretty spot on. What I’ve discovered is that a lot of the creaminess just comes from over processing the ingredients. If you let it process – in stages – for a long time it will become creamy. Add as much oil (or some water, as you’ll see below) as you want. I firmly believe hummus is an objective dish – as in there is no one perfect recipe out there. It’s all about your taste and preference. I happen to have a current love affair with suuuuuuper creamy hummus, but others prefer theirs a little chunky. I also add more garlic and spice to everything so that’s in my basic recipe  but feel free to use less or leave it out all together. The universal basic ingredients are essentially chickpeas, garlic, lemon juice, tahini (sesame seed paste), olive oil and salt and pepper.

Below is my favorite recipe and process for making hummus. Maybe you have your own? If so, do share!

 

Hummus (makes approx. 2 cups)

1/4 cup tahini*

Juice of one lemon

1/4 onion, roughly chopped

4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

1 can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained

1/4 t paprika

1/2 t red pepper flakes

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 – 1/2 cup water

salt and pepper

Begin by processing the tahini and lemon juice until it’s very smooth – basically a liquid. If your tahini isn’t blending too well add a tiny bit of water to help it along. I always start with a teaspoon and go from there. Once it’s the right consistency, scrape down the sides and add in your chopped onion and garlic. Pulse and process for about 30 seconds until the onion and garlic become finely, finely chopped. Add in the beans, paprika and red pepper flakes and process. As it’s going, slowly drizzle in your olive oil. Allow it to process for a while until it becomes very smooth – you might have to stop and scrape down the sides a few times, but that’s okay because you want to make sure it all gets mixed together very well! If you find that it’s still a little chunky add more oil or water (the latter will keep it fairly healthy, the former…well, you know). Again drizzle it in slowly…you can always add more but you can’t take it out! Once it’s to your desired consistency, give it a taste and add salt and pepper accordingly.

Transfer to a serving bowl or container.  My family goes through hummus like it’s nobody’s business, but I’m willing to bet it will stay perfect for at least a week in the fridge – covered, of course!

* My local grocery store sells tahini on the bottom shelf in the peanut butter aisle…always the bottom shelf.  If you can’t find any in your local store, you will absolutely find it at an Indian or Middle Eastern grocer. If you just really don’t want to hunt down tahini, try this recipe with peanut butter! It’ll change the flavor a little bit, but I’ve heard it’s a good substitute. Unfortunately, I’ve never tried it so I can’t make any promises. If you do end up trying this with peanut butter please let me know how it is!

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2 Comments

  1. Hammer

     /  April 30, 2012

    Hummus is best with warm pita slices and a side of gyro meat with that yummy cucumber sauce for dippin’ – otherwise known as “The Anne” at your favorite Greek hangout.

    Reply

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