There are some recipes that I don’t even think about posting.
Usually these are family recipes, or a dish I make more than three times a week. It’s not that I’m trying to keep these recipes a secret—it just doesn’t cross my mind that they would make good material for my blog.
It wasn’t until one of my friends mentioned that I should put the easy hummus recipe I use up on the site that it even occurred to me to do so.
My husband was raised on Mediterranean food. Hummus was a regular part of his diet before we ever met.
So, naturally, I had to learn to make good hummus. And let me tell you, I went through a lot of tries.
Some hummus tastes fantastic, but takes hours (and a good chunk out of my wallet) to make.
Some hummus is quick and inexpensive, but tastes cheap.
Store-bought hummus usually falls into this second category. It’s easy (and relatively cheap) to pick up a tub of hummus at the market, but it always tastes store-bought.
But this? This is seriously one of the best hummus recipes out there.
It’s easy to make and tastes fantastic.
This homemade hummus is fluffy and smooth—totally unlike the dense, gritty texture of store-bought hummus.
Once you taste the difference in this simple recipe, you’ll never want the store bought stuff again.
My husband’s mother was a fantastic (really, just superb) Mediterranean cook. I learned a lot from her—including how to make hummus.
I’ve been making hummus a lot of years now. And though I learned a lot from her, I’ve made some changes of my own.
This recipe is what I make just about every week.
Yes, every week seems like a lot. But in my house, we consume more hummus than most people consume ketchup. It’s a staple. When we don’t have it around, we notice. And we regret it.
We never have a problem figuring out what to eat with hummus. We eat hummus as an appetizer with fresh pita, baked zaatar pita, and pita chips. We eat hummus as a filling in hard boiled eggs (instead of the standard deviled eggs filling). We eat hummus with fresh veggies—my husband especially likes it stuffed in those mini red, yellow, and orange peppers. We eat hummus on sandwiches as a mayo alternative, spread on grilled chicken, and… well, you get the idea.
We eat a lot of hummus.
All this to say that my family’s heritage—and the seriously insane quantity of hummus I’ve consumed over my life—ensures that I know good hummus.
There is a fine art in making a recipe from simple ingredients, one that tastes good and preps quick.
I’m always aiming for those perfect hummus flavors: slightly nutty, delicate, complex, and toasty. (My mouth is watering just thinking about it.)
Give this hummus recipe a try, and let me know what you think the comments. Do you have a unique way to use hummus? Post that too!
How to Serve- This style of hummus is sometimes called Lebanese hummus, and in serving it remember that simple is best. The best way to serve it is with an olive oil drizzle, and a sprinkle of sumac. (Sumac is a Middle Eastern spice which has a tangy, lemony flavor.) There are some interesting variations and additions out there (roasted red pepper hummus, garlic hummus recipes, etc.), but I don’t think any of them compare to good old simple hummus.
Tahini- There are lots of decent hummus recipes served without tahini. However, my recipes takes the purist perspective. Hummus isn’t really hummus without tahini in it. I don’t think hummus tastes half as good without that wonderful sesame spice. A homemade tahini recipe is included below.
( Tip: Tahini is having a popularity boost right now. Partially because hummus is becoming a more and more popular dish here in the United States and partially because chefs keep uncovering new ways to use this versatile ingredient. Do some experimenting in your kitchen and discover new uses for that sesame flavor.)
A trip to your local supermarket will reveal many, many, many different tahini brands. Unless you’re really familiar with the variety of different sesame pastes, it can be overwhelming. You may be tempted to simply close your eyes and point or, worse, pick the cheapest one. Store-bought tahini can end up really bitter and acidic. This is generally due to over-roasted seeds. To make the best hummus possible, you want a rich tahini paste, not a bitter one. That’s why I’ve compiled a list of my top three favorite tahini brands:
Whole Food 365
These brands will get you a beautiful toasted flavor and a nice, smooth texture.
Health Benefits of Hummus- Of course with hummus, health benefits are always important to consider. A common Google search will ask, “Is hummus good for you?” Hummus is high in protein, and has a number of different vitamins and minerals to offer. It’s especially healthy when you consider it as an alternative to other dips. True, many dips (including hummus) are high in fat. But unlike many other cheese, bean, or dairy based dips, that fat in hummus is the good kind—it’s heart-healthy.
Garbanzo Beans/Chickpeas- (Did you know garbanzo beans and chickpeas are the same thing? That’s an important thing to understand before shopping for hummus ingredients. I’ll use those names interchangeably below.)
In this hummus recipe, dried chickpeas are your best bet. They produce a better, richer flavor than using canned garbanzo beans. You can generally find a bag of dried garbanzo beans at most large supermarkets. It’s typically inexpensive to buy a 16-ounce bag—but only use half (about 8 ounces)! Otherwise ,you’ll end up filling every piece of Tupperware you own with delicious hummus. (Come to think of it, that doesn’t sound like such a bad problem.) A 16 ounce bag will make about 4 cups of hummus. That’s how much I make each time I make a batch~LOL.
If necessary, you can use canned garbanzo beans. Remember to rinse them very well. This just won’t produce as smooth or creamy a final product as dried beans. The hummus will have a slightly gritty texture if made wit canned beans. And making this hummus recipe with the dried beans is incredibly easy. You basically just set the chickpeas in a bowl of cold water to soak overnight in the fridge. Boom. Easy as that. This is the most cost-effective method as well.
The key to smooth hummus is removing the garbanzo beans’ skins. That is a chore. It took a long journey to figure out a de-skinning method that is easy to do. The result is a two-step process that removes pretty much all of the skin. Here’s how it works:
First, cook the chickpeas with baking soda. This is important because it rubs at the skin on a chemical level and loosens it (like a kind of chemical sandpaper). That ensures that a lot of the skin comes off during cooking.
Second, take those cooked chickpeas and agitate them with your hand. This will remove the skins. Then, scoop them out.
This process is awesome. It’s a great way to make that smooth and creamy hummus you want, without manually, individually pulling off the skin of each garbanzo bean.
Want to know another important tip for creamy hummus? Overcook the chickpeas. Be careful, though. You really want to overcook them only slightly. They’ll break down a little, but not too much that they become goo.
Cooking Liquid- It’s very important to remember to drain off 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid and reserve it, before draining the beans. That liquid is added back to the hummus and becomes an important ingredient. And you can’t very well go buy it at the supermarket if you forget to grab some before you pitch it down the drain!
Refrigerate Overnight- I like the flavor and texture best of this hummus when it’s been refrigerated overnight. All the ingredients mingle, marry and mellow. Often, when I taste the hummus right after it’s all just made, it can taste a little salty. After I let it do its thing in the fridge, it comes out just right. It also thickens up a bit as it rests in the fridge. If you’re in a time pinch, let it rest at least 3-4 hours in the fridge.
Lemon Juice- Regular readers will know that I am a passionate advocate for fresh lemon juice. This recipe is no different. The stuff in the little plastic containers too chemical-y for this simple hummus recipe.
- Prep Time : 20 minutes minutes
- Cook Time : 60 minutes
- Yield : Approximately 2 Cups
- Soak 8 ounces of dried garbanzo beans in 8 cups of water, cover and place in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours or overnight. Drain.
- In a large, heavy bottom stock pot, add the drained garbanzo bean and baking soda, and cook (without any water) over medium heat, stirring frequently for 3 minutes. Add smashed garlic and 8 cups of fresh water and bring to a roiling boil. Reduce heat and continue to simmer, for about 1 hour or until the garbanzo beans are very tender. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid.
- Place the drained beans into a large mixing bowl and cover with cold water. Using your hand, lightly agitate the beans, so the skins detach and float in the water. Skim the water with a slotted spoon or small sieve and remove the skins, (this will take multiple passes to remove most of the detached skins.) Drain well.
- Place the drained beans and garlic in a food processor. Puree until the mixture is smooth.
- While the machine is running, pour in the tahini, lemon juice, salt, olive oil and the reserve liquid from cooking through the feed tube. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and puree until very smooth.
- Transfer to a serving dish and refrigerate for 2-3 hours minimum or preferable overnight.