To say my family likes hummus would be a large understatement. Of the three cups of hummus made Wednesday night after dinner, by lunchtime today, Friday, not a bit remains. Not a smear is left in the Tupperware, not a smudge. One couldn’t get even the minuscule hummus remnant onto a pita chip, let alone get a little earthy-beige colored smudge onto his or her finger. Truly, there is no hummus left.
Thank god then that it’s as easy to make as boiling water and turning on a blender.
I suppose that at one point in time the wonderful creaminess that is hummus was less common, but now hummus’ flood supermarkets and convenience stores in addition to the specialty markets and delis either on shelves or spread onto sandwiches and wraps and included in lunchboxes and falafels. Its popularity is unsurprising considering its simplicity. It’s just garbanzo beans, tahini, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, and salt, though the trick is to balance all of these relatively strong flavors together. And of course, each hummus is different.
The addition of roasted garlic, bell peppers, oregano, sun dried tomatoes, basil…are all possibilities, but I tend towards the hummus of pure and garbanzo-y goodness. I like a thick hummus, not to loose, heavy on the garlic and light on the tahini. Something that will break the pita chips maybe one out of four times—a real dip. For me the additions take away from hummus—nothing green or red floating around and it better not have a pinkish tint. If one wants pink, go get a schmear, leave the hummus at its best.
When I say heavy on the garlic, I’m referring to my deep love of garlic that prompted me to put 12 cloves in my first ever batch of hummus. I’ve brought it down a little, after witnessing the maturing and strengthening effects a night in the fridge would have.
And sure, it was on the strong side of the garlicky-scale, but that didn’t keep the hummus around in our house any longer. It’s really that good.
Makes about three cups
1 cup dried garbanzo beans
Water to cover
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon- ¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup tahini, (roasted sesame seed butter)
2-4 cloves garlic
Juice from one large lemon, (2-4 tablespoons)
4 tablespoons cooking liquid
Extra virgin olive oil and paprika for presentation
1. Rinse dried garbanzo beans in a colander and then set in a medium saucepan with the water level about two inches about the beans. Place over medium high heat and bring to a boil. Boil for five minutes and then cover and remove from heat. Let soak for at least one hour or overnight.
2. Change water in the saucepan and bring to a boil once again. Add ½ teaspoon kosher salt. Boil for approximately one and a half to two hours or until thoroughly cooked and soft. Remove from heat and let cool for at least 30 minutes. Scoop garbanzo beans into a blender or food processor. Reserve cooking liquid. Add olive oil (1 tablespoon is plenty, but up to a ¼ cup for a rich hummus), tahini, garlic, lemon juice, and 4 tablespoons cooking liquid. Blend until smooth, scraping sides down occasionally. Add more cooking liquid or olive oil to thin hummus out.
3. To present, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and paprika. Serve with pita chips. (Roasted with olive oil, salt, pepper, and oregano in the oven at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes is a delicious alternative for stale pita.) Store hummus in a sealed container in the fridge for up to a week.