Small Plates

How To Make Classic Hummus?

MAKES about 2 cups (VEG): For a streamlined hummus with a silky texture,
we process canned chickpeas with olive oil and tahini.

WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS Classic hummus, which is made and eaten throughout the eastern Mediterranean, is composed of only a few simple ingredients: chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, garlic, and lemon juice. But many traditional recipes are surprisingly complex: The chickpeas must be soaked overnight and then skinned. We wanted a simple, streamlined recipe for hummus with a light, silky-smooth texture and a balanced flavor profile. We started with convenient canned chickpeas and got out the food processor to make quick work of turning them into a smooth puree. But when we pureed the chickpeas alone, the hummus turned out grainy. The key to the best texture was to create an emulsion: We started by grinding the chickpeas, then slowly added a mixture of water and lemon juice. We whisked the olive oil and a generous amount of tahini together and drizzled the mixture into the chickpeas while processing; this created a lush, light, and flavorful puree. Earthy cumin, garlic, and a pinch of cayenne kept the flavors balanced. If desired, garnish the hummus with 1 tablespoon of minced fresh cilantro or parsley and/or 2 tablespoons of the reserved whole chickpeas. Serve with Olive Oil–Sea Salt Pita Chips, fresh warm pita, or raw vegetables.

  • ¼ cup water
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 6 tablespoons tahini
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for serving
  • 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  1. Combine water and lemon juice in small bowl. In separate bowl, whisk
    tahini and oil together.
  2. Process chickpeas, garlic, salt, cumin, and cayenne in food processor until almost fully ground, about 15 seconds. Scrape down sides of bowl with rubber spatula. With machine running, add lemon juice mixture in steady stream. Scrape down sides of bowl and continue to process for 1 minute. With machine running, add tahini mixture in steady stream and process until hummus is smooth and creamy, about 15 seconds, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.
  3. Transfer hummus to serving bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let sit at room temperature until flavors meld, about 30 minutes. (Hummus can be refrigerated for up to 5 days; if necessary, loosen hummus with 1 tablespoon warm water before serving.) Drizzle with extra oil to taste before serving.
VARIATIONS

Hummus with Smoked Paprika -VEG

Substitute 1 teaspoon smoked paprika for cumin. Garnish hummus with 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts, 1 tablespoon thinly sliced scallion greens, and extra oil, if desired.

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus -VEG

Omit water and cumin. Add ¼ cup jarred roasted red peppers, rinsed and
thoroughly patted dry, to food processor with chickpeas. Garnish hummus with 2 tablespoons toasted sliced almonds, 2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley, and extra oil, if desired.


Artichoke-Lemon Hummus -VEG

Omit cumin and increase lemon juice to 4 tablespoons (2 lemons). Rinse 1
cup jarred whole baby artichokes packed in water and pat dry with paper towels; chop ¼ cup artichokes and set aside for garnish. Add remaining ¾ cup artichokes and ¼ teaspoon grated lemon zest to food processor with chickpeas. Garnish hummus with reserved chopped artichokes, 2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley or mint, and extra oil, if desired.

Roasted Garlic Hummus -VEG

Remove outer papery skins from 2 heads garlic; cut top quarters off heads and discard. Wrap garlic in aluminum foil and roast in 350-degree oven until browned and very tender, about 1 hour; let cool, then squeeze out cloves from skins (you should have about ¼ cup). Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil and 2 thinly sliced garlic cloves in 8-inch skillet over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until garlic is golden brown, about 15 minutes; transfer garlic slices to paper towel–lined plate and reserve oil. Substitute garlic cooking oil for olive oil in step 1. Add roasted garlic to food processor with chickpeas. Garnish hummus with toasted garlic slices, 2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley, and extra oil, if desired.

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