I found my hummus recipe on the good old web many years ago and after making it for the first time, I never gave the original recipe a second thought. What I remembered most–and have stuck to–from the original instructions were that 1) I should heat up the garbanzo beans (chickpeas) before pureeing and 2) I should use less tahini (sesame seed paste) than called for. Heating up the chickpeas first seems to produce a smoother hummus, which I prefer. As for the tahini, I find that using more than a couple of tablespoons can get too rich for me.
I’ve since wondered if this simple preparation stays true to its Middle Eastern roots. What I learned is that there are quite a few variations to this dip and that mine does seem to maintain the integrity of the traditional recipe. However, some may frown upon my use of canned chickpeas instead of starting with dry beans (I hear this yields are more nutty hummus–must try soon) or actually recommend chilling the chickpeas beforehand, contrary to my normal practice of warming them up first. Still others will either add cumin, roasted red peppers or even pine nuts–either way, this one is a good base to try.
Departing from my normal habit, I actually measured the ingredients as I prepared this last week. I served it during a party we had over the weekend so I made it a day in advance in order for the flavors to meld. This recipe is fine as is, but if you like garlic and lemon (as I do), I would definitely amp up the quantities noted below.
- 2 15-ounce cans garbanzo beans
- 1/4 cup + 1/8 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup garbanzo liquid
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 cloves crushed garlic (I would actually prefer one or two more cloves)
- 2 pinches cayenne pepper
- 2 heaping tablespoons tahini, raw or roasted (most recipes call for at least 1/4 cup but I find this too overpowering)
- 5 -6 tablespoons lemon juice (I would add more for a more lemony kick)
- Paprika or sumac to sprinkle over hummus and extra olive oil to drizzle
Start by emptying both cans of chickpeas (including the liquid) into a pot. Heat over medium heat for a few minutes. Next, transfer the chickpeas and 1/4 cup of the liquid to a food processor and add the remaining ingredients except for the paprika and the extra olive oil for drizzling. Puree and sprinkle paprika on top and drizzle with a little olive oil before serving.
This dip is good either immediately after preparing or after it has sat overnight. With the latter, the garlic flavor is heightened and provides a greater depth of flavor. Serve with pita chips or assorted veggies.