I think hummus is just about the perfect food. I seriously could eat it every day and be very happy. I work in a grocery store and it astounds me how much hummus we sell. Not because I'm surprised people like it, but I'm shocked more people don't make it themselves. It can be expensive to buy and, if using canned chick peas, can be made in about 15 minutes. I can adjust it to suit my family and the flavors we like too. We love lemon, so I make it with more lemon juice than some people might like. If you like garlic or cumin, use more! If you like roasted red peppers or avocado, throw them in. Heck, dump in the Buffalo Wing sauce if you think it would be tasty. This is the perfect dish to play with.
If you have read my other posts, you know I'm a fan of using dried beans. They are far more economical than the canned ones and they have far less salt. However, I have made this recipe using canned beans many times. I usually don't add extra salt when I use canned beans. You will have to taste it and decide for yourself on the salt. If you want to use canned beans then just scroll down to the directions for the hummus. One drained, rinsed can will make a batch.
Last night I put a bag of dried chick peas to soak. I often will let them soak during the day and cook them at night. I knew I would be around the house this morning, so I let them soak overnight.
Rinse the beans and pick out any stones. Then just dump them into a large pot.
Cover the beans with water so that you have about two inches of water above the beans. Cover the pot with a lid and let it sit on the counter overnight. In the morning drain the beans. They will be about twice the size.
Add fresh water to about 3 inches above the beans. I threw in 3 smashed cloves of garlic, 1 quartered onion, 1 teaspoon dried thyme, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Don't add anything acidic when cooking dried beans. It will make them tough. Bring the pot to a boil, cover and simmer for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until the beans are tender. This can be done in a pressure cooker in just a few minutes.
When the beans are done, drain them and reserve the cooking liquid. I do this by putting a pan under the colander.
The cooking liquid is full of flavor and vitamins. It is fantastic to use as a base for soup. Mine is becoming split pea soup as I type.
Rinse your chick peas under cool water and they are ready to measure and use to make hummus.
Hummus is a very basic, simple food to prepare. It can be done without any fancy equipment, but a food processor or a blender makes it much easier. Here are the ingredients I use as a basic recipe.
2 cups cooked chick peas
2/3 cup tahini
3/4 cup lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, or more depending on the beans
salt and pepper to taste
Let me say a word about tahini. It is simply ground sesame seeds and there is no substitute when making hummus. If you don't have it or can't find it, buy hummus in the grocery store. I can get it in my grocery store, but when I lived in rural Indiana my sister had to send it to me in care packages. It can be mail ordered, but it is cheaper to stock up when you travel to a larger city.
I use bottled lemon juice because I like a lot of lemon. I don't want to spend that much time squeezing lemons. Yes, fresh lemons taste better and you are free to use them. This is all about what you like.
I simply dump everything except the olive oil in the the food processor.
I let it run until everything is well combined.
At this point the mixture is coarse and very thick. Some people like a chunky hummus, but I prefer it to be more smooth. At this point I turn the machine on and drizzle the oil in while the machine is running. When it seems light and fluffy I stop the machine and taste the hummus.
I had a cup of tahini left in my jar and I wasn't going to waste it, so I just added more beans and lemon juice. I did decide to add more lemon and more salt and pepper when I stopped to taste it.
I got about 3 1/2 cups of hummus out of this batch. I put enough cooked chick peas into the freezer to make 2 more batches.
That's all there is to making hummus. It is fantastic served as pictured above. I love to make pita sandwiches with lots of tomato and cucumber too. Hummus and falafel sandwiches are incredible. I have some falafel in the freezer. Hmmmmm........