I'm not sure that hummus is cool anymore. Or really, if it ever was cool. But my super-picky two-and-a-half-year-old, who hardly eats meat, eats the stuff with a spoon. So it's cool in our house.
When I sat down to make my capsule kitchen goals, I decided that I wanted to drastically reduce the amount of processed and packaged food that I was buying. I wanted to do that for several reasons: 1.) I knew that most of the time the processed stuff wasn’t the healthiest choice 2.) I figured if I bought fewer ingredients in bulk and used them in a variety of ways instead of buying individually packaged things I’d be saving money, and 3.) I was actually excited by the challenge of making some of the packaged foods I was buying regularly. And hummus was first up on the list.
Back in my crunchy, organic-community-gardening days (aka. pre-two-babies-in-diapers days), I made hummus a lot. So from memory, I whipped up a batch of homemade, lemony, garlic goodness only to have my two-year-old spit it out and say “No like it!” Cue deflating music.
Apparently she has a texture thing. So, I set out to find a recipe that replicated the smooth creamy texture and lemony flavor of the brand we usually bought. I discovered that there are two common trends in recipes for super-smooth hummus. The first is peeling the chickpeas (which sounds time consuming, but it’s not that bad). The second secret was a lot less intuitive to me. It turns out, that the order that you blend the ingredients in makes a HUGE difference in both the texture and flavor of the hummus. So read the whole recipe before you dump everything in!
This is how I ended up with homemade hummus that my two-year-old actually eats, and enjoyed helping me make.
Super-Smooth Classic Hummus
1 can OR 2 cups cooked chickpeas**
¼ cup tahini paste
juice of 2 lemons
a little bit of water
½ tsp salt
2 garlic cloves, crushed
a little more water
2 tablespoons or more of olive oil
Disclaimer: If this first step makes you want to skip the recipe, then skip it instead, but if you really want hummus like very the creamy store-bought versions, my take is that it’s worth it.
Start by peeling the chickpeas. You just squeeze the pointy end gently and the skin pops right off. (Special thanks to my hand-model husband for demonstrating.) Discard the skins.Set the chickpeas aside…
… and add ONLY the tahini paste and lemon juice to a food processor or blender. Blend together. If yours bends and becomes smooth and frothy, then you can move onto the next step, but I had to add a little bit (about 2 tablespoons) of water and scrape the sides down with a spatula a few times to get to the point where I would call the mixture smooth and frothy.
Next, add the salt and crushed garlic cloves and blend again until totally smooth.
Then, add 1/3 of the chickpeas at a time, blending between each addition.
Finally, start by adding 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 2 more tablespoons of water and blend for about a minute. If you want to further adjust the texture, add more olive oil or water a tablespoon at a time and blend until you get it just the way you want.
Serve with warm toasted pitas and topped with quality olive oil, Aleppo pepper, and sumac . . . or just eat it with a spoon.
*If chickpeas end up in your capsule too, here are some other great chickpea recipes:
Smitten Kitchen’s Spinach and Chickpeas (Way more life-changing than it sounds. But, then again, everything from Deb is life-changing. Am I right?)
Sesame-Spiced Turkey Meatballs with Chickpea Salad from Deb’s book. (You can find the recipe linked online, but the book is absolutely worth it.)
Easy Channa Masala from The Minimalist Baker (Indian-spiced chickpea stew)
**You can use canned or dried beans for this recipe. I had some leftover cans in my pantry, and I also got a bag of dried beans in bulk. Slow cooking the dried beans is my favorite, a la this really simple Alton Brown recipe. And according to this awesome episode of Spilled Milk about hummus, if you intentionally overcook the beans, you might be able to skip peeling them.