Hummus No. 2

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Yes, this really is our second hummus recipe in as many years. If the first one is the cute thin angel on your shoulder, this hummus is the portly devil urging you to add more tahini — go on, what could it hurt? This hummus is rich, nutty, sumptuous, velvety smooth, and airy. The smoothness is achieved by adding baking soda to the chickpeas, à la Ottolenghi. The skins of the chickpeas dissolve and you get a marvelously smooth spread. Yields 4 to 6 servings.

  • 13 to 16 ounces canned chickpeas
  • 1 heaping teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup tahini paste
  • 3 lemons
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup ice water
  • ¼ cup best quality extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
  1. Drain the chickpeas then add to a pot with enough water to cover by an inch, the baking soda, and a pinch of salt. Heat over medium heat until it reaches a low boil. Watch carefully as it will want to bubble up out of the pot. If this happens, immediately remove from the heat and stir to collapse the bubbles. Boil for 3 to 5 minutes, until the water looks cloudy and there are bits floating around in it.
  2. Let cool to room temperature in the water, then drain and place in a food processor. Zest half a lemon (zest the whole thing if you really like lemon; I do) and add to the food processor. Add the tahini, the juice of all three lemons, the garlic — pressed, grated or minced — and the salt. Blitz on high for a full 3 minutes. The puree will be very thick but smooth and aromatic.
  3. With the machine running, add ice water a tablespoon at a time until the desired consistency is reached. I find the sweet spot is 6 to 9 tablespoons. You don't want it so thin that it runs and becomes bland, but also not so thick that it's heavy. If you're a lemon head like me, add the juice of another (fourth) lemon now, with the machine running. Drizzle in the olive oil and let the machine run another 3 minutes. Taste for seasoning.
  4. Scoop out into a serving bowl and garnish with another glug of olive oil swirled in. Serve at room temperature.