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!