Basic Hummus

Hummus, the chickpea puree spiked with tahini, garlic, and olive oil, might be one of the world’s most perfect foods. It works as a snack, a side dish, an appetizer, or as a spread to put on sandwiches and wraps. We love to eat it, but although we can get good hummus at our favorite local Mediterranean place, we have always been disappointed by the hummus sold at the supermarket; and by disappointed I mean a range of emotions that run from slightly bummed out to just downright pissed off. Delicious, fresh-tasting hummus is incredibly simple to make at home, and since we started making our own we haven’t even looked at the tubs of pseudo-hummus sold at the grocer’s. This is more than just bean dip, folks, and once you realize how easy it is to make it, you might find you crave it often.

To make your own hummus, you’ll need the following things:

  • Chickpeas. Canned chickpeas are just fine for making hummus quickly, and around here, they are much easier to find than dried.
  • Tahini (see picture right). This is a roasted sesame seed paste; like peanut butter, but with sesame seeds instead of peanuts. Some people actually do substitute peanut butter for tahini, but we don’t recommend it. The earthy flavor that the tahini provides is very important for your final dish, and peanut butter really doesn’t cut it. It’s available at most supermarkets, but we’ve found that it’s much more cost effective to buy it at a local Middle Eastern Grocery.
  • Garlic. One to two cloves according to your taste. Pre-minced is fine, it just doesn’t have quite the well-rounded flavor of fresh.
  • Lemon juice. Again, bottled is fine, but fresh-squeezed is better.
  • Olive Oil. Get a decent quality oil, your taste buds will thank you.
  • A blender. What, you didn’t think we were going to mash all this stuff together by hand, did you?

Open your can of chickpeas and reserve the juice in a bowl. Put your chickpeas, garlic, one teaspoon (or more to taste) tahini, 1/8-1/4 cup of olive oil, two tablespoons of lemon juice (again, to taste), a healthy pinch of salt, and two tablespoons of the reserved chickpea liquid into a blender. Blend until smooth. If you’d like a thinner hummus, use more of the reserved liquid and blend until you’ve reached your desired consistency. It’s easy to adjust the flavors, just add more lemon, garlic, salt, or tahini as desired and taste often. Eat immediately, or chill for a bit in the fridge to let the flavors mingle. Enjoy!

Serving suggestion: hummus topped with olive oil and red pepper, lamb shoulder chop, fresh salad with Gorgonzola dressing, warm toasted pita. Happy cooking!

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7 thoughts on “Basic Hummus

    • We’ve made a black bean version that might be closer to his taste. As for the Weight Watcher friendliness, you can easily cut down the olive oil to a bare minimum (you do need a little) and use more of the reserved liquid to get a good consistency. That way you get a good dose of Omega 3’s without breaking the bank on fats.

  1. Loved your recipe!!!
    Trac and I made it today, only…. I was too lazy to go and get tahini, nor could I find my sesame seed oil as a substitute… after much rummaging around in the pantry I found “Smoked Spanish Paprika” (1 tlb). Been dying to use it in something… so decided this might work. Have a great salt – Oak Smoked Chardonnay Finishing Salt I thought would compliment the paprika. Used 1 tsp. of it. Added 5 tlb lemon juice, 2 tlb evoo….and the juice.
    Was talking to Trac too much and accidentally put 5 cloves of garlic…(I Think) but it turned out great. I had to use the “Bullet” to get the correct texture and a bit more juice from the beans, but hey… first try and it did work!!!

    Joe tried it… and HE ATE IT! He actually liked it!! Trac is going to make some now too!!

    Have you ever tried adding cumin? I might have to give it a try, but cannot think of what else to put in that would compliment and not fight! I have heard of cilantro, but….

    PS. Just found your site – and I am loving it!!! Love the photos! and your word choice is really amazing… excellent – all the way around!

    • Thanks for reading! Tracy told me you posted so I hurried over to read. Try looking in the organic section of the grocery store for the tahini – I know Kroger keeps a few brands in that section. Smoked paprika would be an excellent addition to this, and I’ve made a black bean version that has some cumin in it (it’s very good).

      We use the magic bullet to make ours, too – it’s perfect for getting it nice and creamy.

      I’m glad you tried making it!

  2. Good recipe. I fought with Hummus for at least 3 tries before I got a good product. I was being stubborn and trying to nail it with the power of my mind. I didn’t look to other people/pages for help. It’s so worth in to make your own though. I add cumin and hot Hungarian Paprika. I also boil the canned chickpeas for about 15 minutes and pop them out of their husks. The husks are so fiberous that I’ve had problems before. This is just a personal preference.

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