There are some basics that I just have a hard time buying pre-made. Especially when I know that a food has about 5 ingredients, how can I justify picking up the kind with a label in a plastic tub?
One such item is hummus. While there are all kinds of varieties on grocery store shelves, homemade hummus takes only minutes. Even better, I can make it to my exact preferences. Since I could eat hummus in various applications for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, I pretty much live and breathe hummus. Every person has her/his own preferences, but this is the perfect hummus for me.
For many years, I always made chickpeas from scratch. Lots of people swear by it in terms of quality, but honestly, I think they taste exactly the same whether they’re canned or homemade. (I know, sacrilege!) My freezer used to be packed with containers of chickpeas made from scratch, but these days I’m leaning towards canned. There’s simply more room in my pantry, and it means more time for making dishes rather than ingredients. I do opt for organic chickpeas, though, in cans that don’t contain BPA.
This past weekend, our farmers market ended for the year. (Sad face.) Before they closed up shop, I stocked up on $20 worth of garlic. That should be enough to get me through a few weeks at least. While garlic is available all year ‘round, there’s nothing like the plump, juicy cloves of garlic that are available at the farmers market. They kind of snap when you slice into them.
For the most part, I like to get heads that have as large of cloves as possible, for less opening and easier chopping. However, in the case of hummus, I opt for smaller cloves, because a little goes a long way with raw garlic.
When I first starting making hummus, I was sparing with the tahini. So foolish! Now I put in at least 2 Tablespoons and even 3 on some days. Tahini is what makes hummus delicious.
I used to buy whatever jarred tahini was on the shelf. I figured with sesame seeds as the only ingredient, what difference could it make? Then I was unfortunately introduced to Soom tahini, and it ruined me for all others. (This post isn’t sponsored by them. I just really like their tahini.) It is perfectly smooth and not gritty like some other tahini. The flavor is mild and nutty. Plus, it doesn’t require any stirring. It’s beautifully runny on its own.
I am not a cat (if you couldn’t tell), but seeing those little plastic lemons in people’s refrigerators makes me want to hiss. You just can’t beat freshly squeezed lemon juice from real lemons. If you wouldn’t want to drink it in lemonade, don’t put it in your hummus.
Chickpea brine (a.k.a. aquafaba)
Finally, I use the chickpea brine from canned (or homemade) chickpeas to finish out the hummus. Many people use oil or water to thin hummus. But by using chickpea liquid, you keep all of that chickpea flavor without diluting it.
I’m not anti-oil, but I figure I might as well save it for where I can really taste it. If you’re in the mood for a bit of oil, simply drizzle it on top just before serving along with a pinch of sumac or paprika.
Then all you have to do is combine in a food processor along with a smidge of salt, stopping once or twice to scrape down the sides. From there you can taste and adjust to your preferences – adding more tahini, lemon juice, chickpea liquid, or garlic. If you’re my husband (I think I’d know if you were), you’d add a ½ teaspoon to a teaspoon of cumin.
I can’t help but snag several spoonfuls of homemade hummus straight from the food processor whenever I make it, which is often. Yes, eventually the pita bread comes out, but tasting it by the spoonful is my version of licking the frosting beaters.
This is a terrific everyday hummus that I use all over the place. I pack it in lunches with crackers and raw vegetables for dipping. It’s wonderful slathered between two tortillas and toasted in a skillet. It’s great in a bowl with rice and roasted vegetables.
Other blog updates:
I’ve been doing a lot of blog updates lately. With 7 years of blogging, there’s always somewhere that can use a little freshening up. In some but not all of the cases I updated the posts and recipes themselves. In all of them, I updated the pictures. Check it out!
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