My favorite hummus

Hummus is one of my favorite snacks, but it’s the sort of thing I’m always out of when I REALLY want some, and when I do buy it, I’m not that interested and it spoils in my fridge.

But a few years ago I discovered how truly easy it is to make hummus at home, with ingredients most people keep on hand.  This way, I can make it on demand, and not have to worry about the above problem!

A quick google search will reveal that there are just about as many hummus recipes as there are people on this earth.  EVERYONE has an opinion on what makes it the best.  The beauty of hummus, however, is that it is so easy to customize to your own taste.  Use the recipe below as a basic guide but remember to taste and tweak as you go.  There really isn’t any right or wrong way. At it’s core, hummus is just chickpeas pureed with olive oil, and everything beyond that is up to you!

My favorite hummus

2 cups chickpeas, cooked with husks removed
3-5 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon tahini
6 tablespoons lemon juice (about one large lemon)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon cumin
1/4-1/2 teaspoon cayenne
A Lot of olive oil

Personally, I like a lot of garlic — so I use about 4-5 cloves.  Roasting them cuts the intensity a bit and gives off an AWESOME flavor.  So I pop them on a cast iron skillet for a few minutes, with the skins on, until they look a little charred and smell really good.

Remove the skin and slice off the root end, and toss in your food processor.

The chickpeas will be encased in a fibrous husk — for the best texture, you should remove them.  It’s a tedious task, and it’s not entirely necessary taste-wise, but if I’m serving the hummus to others I usually will do it. Certainly, remove any that come loose during the cooking process.

I mostly use dried chickpeas because they are the cheapest, but chickpeas take freaking FOREVER to cook.  Soak them in warm water overnight, and then boil until they are soft, another 1-2 hours.  Canned chickpeas will work equally well.  If you have one can and it’s not precisely 2 cups, that’s fine!  Just adjust the seasoning a bit and you’ll use less olive oil.

Most hummus you’ll find includes tahini.  I think it definitely improves the texture of hummus but I’m not such a fan of the taste.  It’s not entirely necessary, so if I don’t have any on hand, I’ll leave it out.  If I have some, I’ll use no more than 1-2 tablespoons.  If you like tahini, add more — you will just need less olive oil.  As a bonus, tahini is very high in calcium, so add as much as you can tolerate!

Anyway.  To make the hummus:

Dump the garlic, chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, and seasonings into your food processor.  Blend a bit and add a few tablespoons of olive oil.  Keep blending and keep adding olive oil until it is your preferred consistency.  It will use a LOT of oil, especially if you’re excluding the tahini, so don’t be afraid — just keep mixing it in.  Stop every so often to scrape the sides as necessary.

Experiment with your favorite seasonings:  cilantro, roasted red pepper, etc.  Just toss ’em all in and blend it all together.  You can’t really go wrong!

Serve with veggies, crackers, pretzels, on a sandwich or toast….yum.

-R

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