My blood practically runs hummus. I eat it almost daily. It is however, as far as I am concerned, impossible to make without a food processor. It’s too thick for a blender and who has time to mash it all by hand?? Plus, it will never get as smooth.
If you don’t have a food processor, I cannot guarantee these same results, but if you do, you can save money and plastic and get a perfectly creamy hummus.
I struggled for years to make one that was as good as my favorite brand in the store, and I never understood why because it is pretty damn simple. How hard is it to combine a few ingredients?
Well, trial and error and a basic recipe got me to a good hummus, but some top tips have me at a GREAT hummus.
I like my hummus pretty basic, but if you are into extra lemon or garlic, red peppers, spicy seasoning, olives, or anything else, you can certainly add them to this foolproof base.
I am convinced part of my recent success is the chick peas. I don’t cook them myself because without a pressure cooker, I will never get them as soft as they need to be for creamy, smooth hummus. For years, I just bought whatever brand of canned chick peas (or garbanzo beans, same-same). Recently, however, I have been getting them in a jar. I have tried two different brands with the same delicious result. The jarred beans are softer than the ones I have bought in the cans, but I don’t know why. So, my advice is to look at your local grocery store and see if you can find them in a glass jar. The ones I have seen have come in 400g glass jars, but that is because I live overseas.
If these elude you, I think the recipe can still be good, especially with the magic of the food processor and the tips I will share with you.
1 400 g jar or a 15 oz can (400 g is really more like 14 oz, but I don’t think you can get cans that size. It’s fine. Close enough, and anyway, I think there is more fluid in the cans.)
1/4 cup tahini (sesame paste)
1/4 extra virgin olive oil
1-2 T fresh lemon juice (to taste)
1-2 (or more) cloves of garlic
1/2 t salt (more or less to taste)
Freshly ground black pepper (optional)
1/4 cup ice water (may need more)
Here is what I used, but I am not partial to any brand. You will note that is life 4 cloves of garlic. You do you.
I used to just throw it all in at once, but I have learned that is a rookie move. Don’t be a rookie, be an expert!
First, the raw garlic can be a bit much. If you want a roasted garlic flavor, that is an option, but to be traditional, I used raw. To take the edge off the raw garlic, I havee learned you can essentially soak it in the lemon juice and that will sort of ‘cook it’ in th acid and it mellows it out a bit.
Put the lemon juice (start with 1 T and see if you need to add more later), salt and pepper and garlic in the food processor and pulse it till the garlic is pretty small.
Next add the olive oil.
Top tip: Use the same measuring cup for the oil and THEN for the tahini, and the tahini will slide right out.
Once you have added the olive oil, pulse it again and it will look like this. Let it sit for 5 minutes or so. The lemon and oil sort of emulsify and I think that also helps with the overall creamy texture.
While it is sitting, drain your chick peas and rinse them if you want. I used to save the fluid in the jar, but this recipe doesn’t use it, so I just rinse them clean.
Next, use the SAME measuring 1/4 cup measuring cup that you used for the oil and put in 1/4 cup tahini. It comes out and you waste very little!
Whiz that up.
Top tip 2: Ice water. I do not know why, but the experts say to add ICE COLD water at this point.
Add 1/4 cup ice water. (The amount will vary, but I would start with 1/4 cup and you can add more later if you need.)
Pulse that and you now have everything except the star of the show, the chick peas, in the food processor.
Add your drained, and maybe rinsed chick peas.
Now you need to just turn on the food processor and let it do its magic. Give it a good minute or two and then stop it and scrape down the sides and center. Give it another minute or two and another scrape. Now taste it.
Does it need more salt? More lemon? If it is too thick, you can add more ice water (more lemon will also thin it out). You could also add olive oil to thin it out, but that also adds more fat. Do you like more pepper? Paprika? Cumin? Now is the time to add any other flavors you like. As I said, I am a purist, so mine is good as is.
Give it a final minute in the food processor and you will be left with the smoothest, dreamiest, tastiest hummus this side of the Nile. I promise!
Carefully take out the center blade and then pour your hummus into a bowl or other container. Use a spatula to get all of that goodness out!
Dip chips, pita, carrots, celery, pretzels or if like me, you live alone, your finger, and just go to town! You may find you like a thicker or thinner or thinner consistency. Once you have the amount of lemon juice set, just add more or less ice water. You can also drizzle fresh olive oil on top when you are ready to serve.
Hummus is a great source of good fat, protein and fiber that is low in carbs and low in bad fats, so don’t hold back.