Before I get to the recipe for really great, light, and nearly fluffy hummus, which I learned to make after my visit to Israel in November, I have a favor to ask you. If you enjoy reading this blog, will you kindly nominate me for a Saveur Best Blog? It takes only a minute and means a lot to me and for the visibility of my blog. Click here, nominate me in any category you wish (although the majority seem to be for culinary writing)…and thank you!
Okay, on to the recipe for hummus. This hummus, by the way, puts store-bought versions to shame. If you don’t want to take the time to make it with dried chickpeas, you can make it with canned chickpeas– but starting with dried is better.
If you want to use canned, I urge you to use either Goya low sodium chickpeas or an organic brand– the texture and flavor on either is just better than the ordinary grocery store brands, which are usually mealy and salty. You need to end up with 4 cups of chickpeas for this recipe. Each 15-ounce can of beans will give you about 1 1/2 cups of chickpeas once you drain and rinse them, so you will need just under 3 cans. Use the extra 1/2 cup on salads during the week.
The amount of time it takes for chickpeas to cook varies greatly on their age– something you have no way of telling in advance. I prefer to soak dry chickpeas overnight, as outlined below, but if you want to move things along more quickly, you can use the quick soak method: Combine chickpeas and the smashed garlic cloves in enough water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil, cover and remove from heat. Allow to sit one hour. Drain, and proceed with the second step of the recipe.
1/2 pound dried chickpeas
2 large garlic cloves, smashed
1 to 1 1/4 teaspoons sea salt
3 tablespoons lemon juice
5 tablespoons tahini
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1. Combine the chickpeas with enough cold water to cover them by 2 inches and soak overnight. Drain.
2. Combine the chickpeas and place in a saucepan with enough fresh cold water to cover them by 3 inches. Add the two smashed garlic cloves and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a very gentle simmer and cook until the chickpeas are tender but not mushy, about 1 1/2 hours. If necessary, add more water while the chickpeas cook. Drain, reserving 2 cups of the cooking liquid (you will not use it all) and 1/4 cup of the chickpeas.
3. Combine the rest of the chickpeas (with the garlic cloves), 1 teaspoon of the salt, lemon juice and tahini in the food processor and puree until smooth, stopping a couple of times to scrape down the sides. With the machine running, slowly stream in 1 cup of the reserved cooking liquid. Taste, and add more reserved water and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt as needed.
4. To serve, use a spoon to swirl a shallow channel in the hummus, and drizzle olive oil in the channel. Sprinkle with the reserved chickpeas and parsley.
Makes 3 1/4 cups