Appetizers · Vegetarian Main Dishes

Homemade Hummus

Homemade Hummus.jpg

Hummus is one of my favorite foods of all time. I can vividly recall the first time I ever had it. Yes, there was a dark time in the US of A when “international foods” involved a bottle of Kraft salad dressing or a can of Campbell’s soup and a couple of pinches of something from the grocery store spice aisle. If you wanted real international food, you had to travel, or know somebody from another country who liked to cook.

I was taking an Organic Chemistry course my sophomore year at Syracuse University. Unlike the uber-competitive university an hour or so south (where students were rumored to have sabotaged each others’ lab experiments in hopes of diminishing the competition), the students in our lab helped each other. Whoever pulled an all-nighter finishing an English paper or cramming for a math test, for example, could count on their fellow students to help them set up their experiments or explain whatever they hadn’t had time to read.

My friend Richard, whose lab station was to my left and whose last name I’m embarrassed to admit I’ve forgotten, was from Lebanon. He invited me to a Lebanese-American potluck supper. As I recall, the tables ran the length of the basketball court, bowed under the weight of all the food. Or at least it seemed that way to me. And it was all dishes I’d never heard of, let alone tried. I don’t know that I’d ever even heard of chickpeas! Now, I’m game to try just about anything once (except blowfish; that’s literally putting your life in the hands of a stranger), so I tried a little bit of everything. You should have seen the smile on the face of the woman who brought the hummus when I went back for thirds! Or was it fourths? What can I say, it was truly love at first bite. I regret that I didn’t think to get her recipe at the time. I probably thought it would be too hard to make. I might have been right, as I didn’t own a food processor at the time. Now that I do, making hummus is a breeze! Richard, if you’re out there, I’d love to catch up!

I never saw or heard of hummus again until I moved to Buffalo a few years later. Walking through Delaware Park one day, I happened upon The Juicery (now Ashkers In The Park). Beautiful, sunny day, and there’s this adorable walk-up vegetarian juice & sandwich bar. Fresh-squeezed lemonade, and fresh hummus on whole wheat pita with cucumbers and alfalfa sprouts. Delicious!It’s closed in this pic, more’s the pity, but I hear it does still exist.

AshkersInThePark

Of course, I did eventually learn to make my own hummus. It’s incredibly easy if you have a food processor. There are many recipes available, and everyone seems to have their favorite methods & ingredients. Recently, I’ve been using ranchogordo.com’s dried chickpeas, cooked ahead of time. If you want to skip that step, I recommend using two cans of Progresso chickpeas, drained. I think they have the best flavor of the canned varieties. I’m quite fond of Joyva tahini, even if it does tend to separate. Its robust flavor is almost peanut buttery. It’s a royal pain to stir with a spoon when the can is full, but you’ve got the food processor out anyway, and that will make quick work of recombining the tahini. 

I like hummus best when I’ve made it at least several hours ahead of time to let the flavors meld and mellow, but that doesn’t keep me from licking the spoon, the bowl…Not the food processor blade. Never lick that! 

Hummus is great alone, as the star of a pita sandwich, as a sandwich spread instead of mayo, as a dip for crackers, and more. Serve it with some za’atar to sprinkle on for an added burst of flavor: a tip from an American-Israeli friend. I know, it’s almost like my own Jerusalem: A Cookbook. I really do need to get that cookbook someday!

You’ll find a printer-friendly version of the recipe at the bottom of this page. Do note that I’m calling this a 6-serving recipe. That’s because I love it so much! If you’re serving it as a dip, it will serve many more than six — but only if you don’t invite me!

Ingredients:

0 h.jpg

½ cup sesame tahini

3 cups cooked chickpeas, drained

2 – 3 garlic cloves, peeled

2 tsp ground cumin

1½ tsp salt

½ t freshly ground black pepper

⅓ cup good quality extra virgin olive oil

⅓ cup water (or chickpea broth, if you’ve cooked your own.)

2 – 3 lemons

Preparation:

1.) If your tahini has separated, empty the whole can into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Process until smooth, measure out your half cup, and return the rest to the can.

 

2.) Place the half cup of tahini back in the food processor bowl. Add the chickpeas, garlic, cumin, salt, pepper, olive oil and water to the bowl, and process until smooth.

2 h

3.) Scrape down the sides of the bowl, especially where the bottom meets the sides. Squeeze the juice from two lemons. With the machine running, pour the juice down the feed tube. Continue processing until well blended. Taste, and adjust cumin, salt, and pepper as desired. If your lemons were small or not very juicy, you might also want to add more lemon juice. Refrigerate, or serve immediately.

3 h

hh NutritionLabel.png

“Homemade


Ingredients


½ cup sesame tahini
3 cups cooked chickpeas, drained
2 – 3 garlic cloves, peeled
2 tsp ground cumin
1½ tsp salt
½ t freshly ground black pepper
⅓ cup good quality extra virgin olive oil
⅓ cup water (or chickpea broth, if you’ve cooked your own.)
2 – 3 lemons

Directions


1.) If your tahini has separated, empty the whole can into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Process until smooth, measure out your half cup, and return the rest to the can.
2.) Place the half cup of tahini back in the food processor bowl. Add the chickpeas, garlic, cumin, salt, pepper, olive oil and water to the bowl, and process until smooth.
3.) Scrape down the sides of the bowl, especially where the bottom meets the sides. Squeeze the juice from two lemons. With the machine running, pour the juice down the feed tube. Continue processing until well blended. Taste, and adjust cumin, salt, and pepper as desired. If your lemons were small or not very juicy, you might also want to add more lemon juice. Refrigerate, or serve immediately.

One thought on “Homemade Hummus

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s