Levantine dip or spread made from cooked chickpeas.
Hummus (meaning “chickpea” in Arabic), is a popular Levantine dip or spread made from cooked chickpeas pureed with tahini, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and garlic. Some cooks peel the chickpeas for a more luxurious texture.
2 cups drained well-cooked or canned chickpeas, liquid reserved
1 cup tahini sauce (see recipe above)
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon cumin
· Extra-virgin olive
· Chopped fresh parsley leaves
Start by opening the can of chickpeas, draining them in a colander, and rinsing them very well under cold water until clean. Then dry them with a paper towel and remove the tough skins from the beans before continuing. (see below)
Add the drained, skinless chickpeas to blender (food processor) with tahini sauce and cumin. Blend until perfectly smooth and not at all grainy, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl occasionally. This blending may take upward of about 2 minutes; just keep going until the mixture is ultra-creamy and fluffy, adding a little bean water if you need it to make the contents of the blender move.
Taste for seasonings, adding more salt, lemon juice and/or cumin as needed.
To serve, spread the hummus on a plate, dust with paprika, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with parsley.
Removing the tough skins from the garbanzo beans results in a far creamier end product.
America’s Test Kitchen adapted the process to canned chickpeas:
Dry the rinsed and drained chickpeas with a paper towel. Toss the chickpeas with baking soda (1 tablespoon for 14-ounce can). Then heat the beans in a microwave or in a skillet over medium heat for 2-3 minutes until the beans are hot. The alkaline environment created by the baking soda helps break down the pectin in the beans, softening the beans’ skins so well that they disintegrate during heating and are easily rinsed away. Transfer the beans into a bowl and wash them with 3 or 4 changes of cold water. While you rinse them agitate the beans vigorously between your hands to release the skins, which will flood away.
Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi in their cookbook Jerusalem