Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Your Basic Hummus, and then some...

Why anyone would buy hummus is completely beyond me.

I know, I know, convenience. I do understand that, I suppose.

Seriously though - The stuff takes maybe five minutes to make (if you have cooked/canned beans and a food processor), tastes a zillion times better, costs a fraction of what they charge in the stores, plus you can flavor it exactly as you prefer...

If you've never tried hummus (and I would first have to ask "WHY!!!???!!!") , give the basic recipe a whirl - in your food processor that is. Then once you know what you like (less garlic, more tahini, etc..) you can advance to flavored additions in your hummus. You'll never look at those pricey little plastic tubs again!!

I've included directions for making hummus with canned beans or those you cooked from scratch. If you haven't ever cooked garbanzo beans/chick-peas from scratch, they're very easy and have a better texture and nuttier flavor than their canned counterparts. Plus, (always a high point for me) they are SO SO cheap!!! Here are some good directions for cooking them from scratch.

Another hummus tip: if you don't have tahini (sesame seed paste), don't rush out and buy it just for 1 Tablespoon! Peanut butter works very well instead (I can hear the gasps of horror from hummus-purists everywhere).
Seriously, try it - I'm betting no one will know!! If you're convinced you need tahini, try and find a Middle Eastern Market that sells real Lebanese tahini (sesame paste) or similar. It is much sweeter and lighter than the Western brands you usually find in health-food and grocery-stores

Basic Hummus

  • 1 can chickpeas (garbanzo beans) drained and rinsed VERY well or 2 cups cooked-from-scratch chickpeas, drained
  • 1 Tbsp tahini (toasted sesame paste- found in your international market, health food store or large supermarkets) OR use 2 Tbsp peanut butter. I'm cheap and have used peanut butter in my hummus for years and no one's ever complained or noticed...
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • juice of 1/2 lemon+ more to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. crushed, dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. cumin or to taste
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil, more or less
  • broth from chick-peas/garbanzos

1) Combine everything in the food processor
2) Grind as finely as possible
3) Stream in olive oil until the mixture becomes smooth and fine. If it's too dry and thick (or you're oil phobic and don't want to use any more oil) , add some bean broth until it's the right consistency for you.
4) Adjust everything to taste


To the above recipe, add whatever ingredients you like, in the amounts you like, either during the blending or chopped finely and added afterwards. The sky's the limit (or your imagination) but here are some suggestions.

  • Basil
  • Sun Dried Tomatoes
  • Cilantro (use lime juice instead of lemon if you want, in the basic recipe)
  • Roasted Eggplant
  • Kalamata Olive (add these chopped. If blended, they give the hummus a very odd purple-grey color. Still tastes good though!)
  • Chopped JalapeƱo
  • Chipotle Peppers
  • Roasted Red Peppers
  • Fire-roasted New Mexico Green Chiles
  • Fresh chopped parsley, oregano and mint (makes a wonderful, herb-y topping for potatoes and salads!)
  • Chopped Pine-Nuts
  • Artichoke Hearts
  • Medeterranean Herb blends like Za'atar or Sumac


Feed Me I'm Cranky said...

Oh cool! I'll have to try this out! I don't have any tahini, so peanut butter it is...for now.