Hummus

Everyone loves hummus, and there's no reason not to make it from scratch. Not only is it much cheaper than storebought, but you can flavor it any way you like. I like lots of lemon juice and a hint of garlic.

Yields about 3 cups.

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces dried chickpeas
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided (½+½)
  • ¼ cup tahini paste
  • ½ cup good quality olive oil
  • 4 to 6 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 to 5 tablespoons water

Instructions:

  1. The night before, soak the chickpeas in enough water to cover by a couple of inches. This step is optional, but will greatly reduce the cook time.
  2. The next day, drain and rinse the beans, the put into a pot with enough water to cover the beans by a couple of inches. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a low simmer. Simmer for 8 to 12 minutes, until they are just past al dente. Drain and rinse under cold water.
  3. On a cutting board, finely mince the garlic. Sprinkle over ½ teaspoon of kosher salt. Using the edge of the blade of a knife, drag the blade across the garlic repeatedly to make a smooth paste. Be sure to incorporate all the salt and mash to a relatively even, smooth paste.
  4. Add the chickpeas to a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Process on high until evenly puréed. Add the tahini paste, olive oil, garlic paste, and the second ½ teaspoon of salt. Blend until well mixed.
  5. Add 4 tablespoons lemon juice, blend and taste. If it tastes fine, skip to step 6. Otherwise, add a tablespoon at a time of lemon juice until it tastes right. Keep an eye on the consistency of the hummus.
  6. If the taste of the hummus is right but it's too thick, add a tablespoon of water at a time until it's the right thickness. Keep in mind that the more water you add, the more salt and/or lemon juice you may need to restore the taste.
  7. Serve the hummus at room temperature with a drizzle of good olive oil and a sprinkling of sumac, za'atar, or piment d'esplette.