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best hummus ever!

I thought I’d had good homemade hummus before, but then I had hummus made from dried chickpeas, instead of canned, and now I know what good hummus is!

Nick Malgieri, the former Executive Pastry Chef at Windows on the World and cookbook author, is a frequent teacher at Les Gourmettes.  The last session he made this recipe by another teacher and author, Paula Wolfert, who has three fabulous Mediterranean cuisine cookbooks.  The difference between hummus made from canned chickpeas and the hummus made from dried is incredible. It’s not hard to do, it just takes a little more forethought, since the beans need to soak overnight.

You can find dried chickpeas in bulk at Whole Foods and health food stores and I get the tahini at Smart and Final, but it too can be found at health food and Mediterranean stores.

Bonus:  There is a food processor tip at the bottom of the recipe.

Paula Wolfert’s Hummus

1  1/2 cups (about 3/4 pound) dried chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans)
1 medium onion, peeled and halved
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 cup tahini, well stirred before measuring
4 small garlic cloves, peeled and mashed with a teaspoon of kosher salt
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice, and more to taste
1/4 cup olive oil
Ground cumin
Additional olive oil for drizzling

Dry chickpeas, ready to soak overnight

24 hours later… notice the little dry bean next to the soaked bean

Soak the chickpeas in water to cover, overnight. Drain and rinse, then return to pot and cover with fresh water, the onion, and 1 tablespoon of salt. Cook over low heat until very soft, about an hour to 1 1/2 hours.

Reserve separately 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid and 1/2 cup of the cooked chickpeas. Drain the remaining chickpeas, discarding the rest of the cooking liquid and the onion.

Combine the remaining teaspoon of salt, tahini, garlic, and lemon juice in a  food processor; process until the mixture whitens, about 2 minutes or more.  With the machine running, drizzle in the 1/2 cup reserved cooking liquid and the 1/4 cup olive oil.

Add all the chickpeas except the reserved 1/2 cup and process again until very smooth.  Taste and season with more salt and/or lemon juice as needed.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

To serve, spread the hummus on a shallow platter.  Make a shallow well in the center and garnish with a drizzle of olive oil, ground cumin, and reserved chickpeas.  Serve with pita chips, flatbread, and/or crudites.

Makes about 5 cups

I’ve actually given this tip before, but it is worth repeating.  Also worth repeating is that there is a “Tip Index” over there on the left, under the “Pages” list.  Lots of valuable and time-saving tips for you, check it out sometime.

TIP:  After you have gotten a mixture out of the food processor and you still  have a food processor blade the has a bunch of thick goop on it, the best way to get it clean is to put the bowl back on the machine and turn it on for just a second or two.

Centrifugal force will clean off the blade and spin all the remaining stuff up onto the sides of the bowl.  Just lift out the blade and use a rubber spatula to clean out the rest of the mixture from the work bowl.

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1 Audrey Larsen { 06.20.11 at 10:17 AM }

I have to try this recipe — I love hummus but I’ve only ever made it from canned chickpeas. And thanks for that food processor tip, I’ll be doing that from now on!

2 Marissa { 06.20.11 at 8:51 PM }

Send some to meeeeee. I had to eat bad pizza for dinner tonight 😛

3 Linda Hopkins { 06.21.11 at 10:15 AM }

This just makes me sad… I told you to go with the Chinese! xoox

4 Marissa { 10.11.11 at 3:37 PM }

OK, so what if I want to make hummus and don’t have a food processor at all…?

5 Linda Hopkins { 10.11.11 at 3:48 PM }

Marissa, Do you girls have a blender? If not, bring a suitcase with enough room and I’ll send a processor back with you in the beginning of November. xoox

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