Silky Homemade Hummus (Warning: You need a food processor)

My 83 year old mom and my husband Kurt are obsessed with hummus.  Our favorite brand is Sabra.  Those two can eat one of those medium Sabra containers in less than a week.  Consequently, I moved up to the giant sized tub that Costco sells, and that lasts about two and a half weeks.  Although both Kurt and I know how to make hummus from scratch (well, almost scratch since I sometimes cheat and use canned chick peas), homemade never can reproduce the silky smooth texture of Sabra.

Until now.  Until I received my glorious Christmas present from Grace– not the John Besh cookbook which I requested and also received, but my fabulous Cook’s Illustrated “2000 Recipes from 20 Years of America’s Most Trusted Cooking Magazine.”  I.  LOVE.  THIS.  BOOK.

Make this hummus; I’ve doubled the recipe out of the book and it fills one of those plastic quart containers you get from Chinese take-out.  I read online that it’s the chickpea hulls/skins that create the sub-optimal texture of homemade hummus.  The CI recipe shakes up the technique by taking advantage of the properties of emulsion (think homogeneous oil and vinegar based dressing) to create a smooth chick pea spread.  Try it; you’ll be amazed by the result!  It’s even more glorious if you cook your own chickpeas (see end of this post for how-to).

Note:  I significantly decreased the amount of tahini paste from the original; the brand I have must be super concentrated compared to what the CI authors use.  My advice is to start with the amount below, then add if you find you want more of that toasted sesame taste.

Silky-smooth Homemade Hummus (from CI “2000 Recipes from 20 Years” cookbook)

  • 2 (14.5 oz) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 4 TB tahini paste
  • 6 TB olive oil
  • 6 TB lemon juice
  • 1/2 c water
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • big pinch of cayenne

This is what you’ll need (in addition to a food processor):

I always keep a jar of tahini paste in my fridge. I think I bought this one at MOM's organic.

I always keep a jar of tahini paste in my fridge. I think I bought this one at MOM’s organic.

Fill a measuring cup with the 1/2 cup of water. Squeeze lemons to get 6 tablespoons of juice (I ended up using a fourth lemon), and add to water.  Set aside.  In a small bowl, measure the olive oil and tahini paste; stir to blend.

Smash the garlic cloves to peel and chop finely.  Place in a small bowl and add salt, the cumin and cayenne.  (I only added a half-teaspoon of salt because I used canned peas). Drain and rinse the chickpeas.  You are now ready to start processing:

Mise en place: 1) lemon water, 2) tahini olive oil, 3) garlic and spices, 4) drained chickpies.

Mise en place: 1) lemon water, 2) tahini/olive oil, 3) garlic and spices, 4) drained chickpies.

Dump the chickpeas and garlic/spices into the bowl:

Chickpeas and seasonings

Chickpeas and seasonings

Process for a few seconds until the peas are almost fully ground:

Processed chickpeas-- looks like a thick paste.

Processed chickpeas– looks like a thick paste.

Scrape down the bowl and with the motor running, add the lemon water, stopping the blades once all the liquid has been added.

Lemon water

Lemon water

Scrape down the bowl:

After the lemon water-- the paste is becoming smoother.

After the lemon water– the paste is becoming smoother.

Process for a full minute.  The chickpeas will be looser and smoother.  Scrape down once again, then, with motor running, add the tahini/olive oil mixture.  Process until smooth.

Oil to emulsify to creamy silkiness!

Oil to emulsify to creamy silkiness!

Taste and adjust seasonings; I added the other half teaspoon of salt since these peas were not too salty.

Silky smooth!

Silky smooth!

Store in the refrigerator and serve with whatever dippers your family likes!

One quart of Middle Eastern good eats!

One quart of Middle Eastern good eats!

Boiled Chickpeas

  • 2 cups dried chickpeas
  • 8 smashed garlic cloves (remove peel)
  • 1 TB salt

Soak peas overnight in a large bowl with enough water to cover by 4 inches; the peas will double in volume.  Drain peas and place in a large pot with smashed garlic.  DO NOT ADD SALT.  Adding salt this early will toughen the skins– this is true for any dried bean boiling.

Bring the pot to an easy (not full) boil and skim off any froth as it floats to the top.  Simmer for 45 minutes.

Add the salt and continue cooking until beans are tender, another 30 to 90 minutes.  The standard bean test for doneness is to test five beans; if they are all soft, then beans are done!

Let beans cool in the liquid, then drain, keeping some liquid if you are not using them immediately.


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Filed under Appetizer, Dip, Food

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