The wife is a big fan of hummus. We always enjoy it and say we should have it more often, but we rarely do. I thought I’d finally write down my basic recipe in the hopes that we won’t have to reinvent the wheel every time we want to prepare this simple dish.
Here’s everything you need:
- 2 cans Chickpeas (a.k.a. Garbanzo Beans)
- 1 head Garlic
- Juice from a medium-sized lemon
- 2½ tbsp Olive Oil, divided
- 1½ tsp Sesame Oil
- 1/4 tsp Table Salt
- 1/8 tsp Chipotle Chili Powder
- Smoked Spanish Paprika
- Chopped Chives
1) Drain and rinse the chickpeas in a colander.
2) Carefully rub all the papery skin off the garlic and use a sharp knife to cut off the top of the head, revealing the cloves. Put it in a foil pouch and top with ½ tablespoon of olive oil and a pinch of salt.
Bake in a 425° oven for 30 minutes. When it’s finished cooking, open the foil and let it cool.
3) Add the chickpeas, lemon juice, olive oil, sesame oil, chili powder, salt and roasted garlic to the food processor. Don’t bother trying to peel the garlic cloves. Just hold the bulb upside down and squeeze out all the roasted garlic. Just make sure you remove any peelings that fall in.
Thoroughly mix everything until it makes a smooth paste. You’ll probably have to mix it with a spoon occasionally to make sure all the beans get pureed. If the mixture doesn’t want to blend properly, add a little more olive oil through the hole in the lid of your processor until it starts to move.
4) While the processor is running, cut some pita bread into wedges, sprinkle on some salt and paprika, and toast them in a 350° oven for 5-10 minutes until crisp.
5) When the hummus is smooth, garnish with a little paprika and chives and dig in.
I used to use tahini (sesame paste) to make hummus, but for whatever reason you can’t buy it in a small jar. Since you only use a tablespoon or less per can of chickpeas, it lasts forever. I have issues with opened jars sitting in my fridge for too long, so I’ve started using sesame oil instead. Frankly, it tastes better. I’ve also stopped using cayenne pepper in my recipe. Chipotle chili powder adds a smoky taste to the hummus that goes well with the other ingredients. Oh, and I should mention that this recipe is a wee bit heavy on the lemon juice. We like it that way. If you’re trying it for the first time, add the lemon juice incrementally and taste it as you go.
You can augment this basic recipe with black beans, grilled onions, sun-dried tomatoes, kalamata olives, roasted eggplant, roasted red peppers, etc… to make different kinds of hummus. I still recommend using roasted garlic in each one, though.
My wife’s favorite variation is black bean hummus. To make it, I start with the recipe above but swap out one can of chick peas for black beans, add 1/4 of a small red onion (raw or roasted), and hold back on the lemon a little.
It comes out a little darker and has a deeper flavor than the roasted garlic version. I garnish with some paprika, cracked black pepper, olive oil, and some finely minced onions.
You’ll want to pass around some mints after eating this.