Use Hummus as a dip for pita bread and crudites as on the Epic Mediterranean Mezze Board, or spread on toast, grilled flatbread, or baked pizza piled with other vibrant vegetables, or as meditative therapy as prescribed below.
Recipe for Classic Hummus with Canned Chickpeas below, cooking Notes and ingredients Resources follow. If you're more of a visual person, watch a short video of the making of the hummus here.
Classic Hummus, with Canned Chickpeas
makes about 2 cups, easily ratio'd up or down
2 15-ounce cans of chickpeas, a few whole chickpeas reserved to use as garnish
1 garlic clove, peeled, crushed, and inner green stem removed
¼ cup tahini paste
¼ cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon kosher salt + more to taste
ice cold water in a small bowl or glass, as needed by the tablespoon, for texture
optional garnish for serving as dip: extra virgin olive oil, extra whole chickpeas, chopped fresh soft herbs e.g. parsley, mint, dill
serve with: mezze, vegetable crudites, grilled flatbread, just itself
Drain chickpeas and rinse. Remove the thin, diaphanous skins from the chickpeas either by gently squeezing each chickpea and popping it out of the skin, or by placing a clean kitchen towel or paper towel on a flat surface, laying the chickpeas in a single layer, and rubbing them gently with a second kitchen towel or paper towel. The first method is slow, repetitive, and for two cans of chickpeas, takes about 25 minutes. I consider it meditation.
In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the crushed garlic until chopped. Pour peeled, canned chickpeas into the food processor and pulse until the chickpeas are puréed. The mixture will be thick and may require stopping the machine several times and scraping down the sides of the bowl.
Add the tahini, half the lemon juice, and salt, and pulse until the mixture moves smoothly in the bowl. Add cold water by the tablespoon to the food processor as it is running until the hummus is smooth and the consistency you prefer. For two cans of chickpeas, I usually end up using 3 tablespoons of cold water, resulting in hummus with the consistency of thick frosting.
Taste, add more lemon juice and/or salt if needed.
Scrape the hummus into a serving bowl, drizzle with a few tablespoons of olive oil and garnish with chopped fresh herbs.
Hummus can be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for three days.
NOTES and RESOURCES
- CHICKPEAS. This hummus recipe is specific for canned chickpeas. My favorite brand of canned chickpeas is Eden Organic, but use whatever canned chickpeas you already have or can find. If you have it in you to start with dried chickpeas, use this recipe for Classic Hummus from Dried Chickpeas .
- TAHINI. Tahini is a puree of sesame seeds, essentially a seed butter. Tahini adds a nutty, umami, toasted flavor to foods and a fluffy texture to hummus. I have tried and liked Artisana Organic, Joyva, Kevala Organic, Whole Foods 365 Organic and a few other brands that aren't memorable, but all of which I was able to find either online or in a regular grocery store in Los Angeles. The one I like the most is Soom, which I first saw in the little shop at Suraya restaurant in Philadelphia (photo above). If you can't find tahini, or are new to tahini and don't want to spend money on an entire jar, you can substitute with half the amount of sesame oil, or leave the tahini out, with the understanding that the final hummus will be good, but will taste very different.
- KOSHER SALT. I use Diamond Crystal brand, which is in the burgundy red box.
- OLIVE OIL. The olive oil here is for garnish at the end so use your favorite. I use California Olive Ranch.
TOOLS and EQUIPMENT
- MESH STRAINER. I have a set of three different sizes, and use the medium one to drain the chickpeas and give them a good shake. (The larger strainer is great for sifting flours and straining stock).
- FOOD PROCESSOR. I have been using my small 4-cup Cuisinart FOR YEARS. I will only "upgrade" when this one falls apart because it still works like a dream, but most importantly, it's easy to clean and PUT AWAY. This 4-cup capacity is the right size for small jobs like dips and spreads.
- KITCHEN TOWELS. I have purchased so many "fancy" branded kitchen towels over the years, but always come back to the inexpensive, no brand 100% cotton floursack cloths because they're absorbent and actually "dry" your hands or dishes or whatever you're wiping. Regular terry-cloth style towels are absorbent, but don't dry out themselves, and traditional tea towels are thin and dry out, but are also rough on the skin. Keep fancy kitchen towels for display, get the floursack cloths for actual work.
- CUTTING BOARD. This is my favorite very large cutting board that also doubles as a food/crudites/cheese board. It is very heavy.
- KNIFE. My daily, all-purpose knife, expensive, but definitely worth it