Hummus-Four Different Varieties

Hummus served with baby carrots

I’m not sure the first time I had hummus, I’m sure it was when I was a child.  Growing up in the New York Metro area provided my family with the opportunity to try a variety of cuisines and Middle Eastern cuisine was on our list.

Hummus is a go-to dish for me to take to parties or when I have guests over for wine.  I always have the ingredients on hand so I can make it even when surprise company arrives. This time of year I find myself making it to take to all of the holiday parties I go to.  No only is it inexpensive to make but it is easy to make, it’s versatile and it is a lot healthier than many dips. The dip is high in protein, fiber, vitamin C and is gluten and dairy free so what more can you ask for?

The main ingredient in hummus is chickpeas also called garbanzo beans.  This legume has been a staple of most Middle Eastern diets for over 10,000 years.  The earliest recorded example of hummus is in a 13th century Arabic cookbook.  The early Arabic recipe used vinegar instead of lemon juice and also added nuts such as walnuts, almonds, and pistachio nuts.  Today, this Middle Eastern staple is found and loved all over the world.

Over the years I tried to make my hummus as smooth in texture as found in restaurants and delis.  But just taking the beans and putting them into the food processor with lemon juice, tahini, and garlic resulted in a coarse, dense dip that wasn’t like the dip found in restaurants.  A few years ago our friends at Cook’s Illustrated Magazine published the ultimate restaurant style hummus recipe in their May 1, 2008 edition.  One try and this recipe became my base recipe for hummus and all of the variations I make and I’m sure you will agree once you try it.

Hummus with Four Variations: Regular, Artichoke Hearts, Avocado,  Roasted Red Peppers
Recipe adapted from Cooks Illustrated, May 2008

Summary: Hummus is a quick and easy dip to make

Ingredients:

  • 1 can chick peas, drained with 1/4 cup reserved (important to use canned chickpeas)
  • 1/4 cup reserved chickpea liquid
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice from either fresh lemons or bottled juice 6 tablespoons tahini (sesame seed paste)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil plus extra for drizzling at the end
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame seed oil (or if you don’t have sesame seed oil use an additional 1/2 teaspoon olive oil)
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Cilantro or parsley leaves minced for garnish Optional: 1/2 cup artichoke hearts or 1 avocado, or 1/3 cup roasted red peppers

Instructions

  1. Combine lemon juice and chickpea liquid in a small bowl or glass.
  2. Combine tahini and oil and mix until smooth in a small bowl or glass.
  3. Put the chickpeas, garlic, salt, cumin, and cayenne into a food processor and process until fairly smooth about 30 seconds. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  4. With processor running slowly add the lemon juice/chickpea liquid mixture. Process for about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  5. With processor running slowly add in the tahini-oil mixture in a steady stream. Process for about 1 minute until mixture is very smooth and creamy. Scrape down sides of bowl.
  6. Optional ingredients. Divide chickpea mixture in half. Add artichoke hearts or avocado or roasted red peppers to one half of the chickpea mixture and process until very smooth and creamy. With other half of mixture either use as regular hummus or add in other optional ingredient.
  7. Transfer hummus to serving bowl(s) and cover with plastic wrap. Let stand for one half hour to let flavors come together. When ready to serve uncover bowls, make a swirl on top of mixture and add a drizzle of olive oil and garnish with cilantro or parsley leaves. Serve with cut up vegetables, pita bread, crackers, on top of bagels, on fish, etc.
  8. Enjoy

Variations

Optional ingredients: artichoke hearts, avocado, roasted red peppers, roasted garlic

Diet type: Vegetarian

Diet (other): High protein

Meal type: hors d’oerves

Culinary tradition: Middle Eastern

My rating: 5 stars:  ★★★★★ 1 review(s)

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2 Responses to Hummus-Four Different Varieties

  1. Susan Neff says:

    Jane, thanks for the hummus recipe – my attempts to make good hummus at home have all been pretty disappointing so I’m looking forward to trying this!

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