Once upon a time I really hated hummus, in fact I really hated chickpeas, in fact I have distinct memories of picking chickpeas out of pasta salad that my mom made, my memories are that terrible. I’m not quite sure when the switch happened, perhaps in sixth grade or so. Whenever it was, I now love chickpeas, and hummus. Now, I hope to apply this logic so that in at least a few years I will come to enjoy anchovies, horseradish, mayonnaise, and a few other choice items so that I will have a broader palate. At the moment this is very much not the case. I squirm when anyone asks if I would like mayonnaise on sandwiches, or anchovie pizza. Yet I do have a pretty broad palate at the moment, and one that is generally accepting. I mean, I eat multiple bowls of lentils!
Now, as I was writing I just realized what this all relates to, “The Jungle”! Exactly. Many of the things that I don’t like are really processed foods because I automatically worry about how they were produced. We are beginning “The Jungle” in English tomorrow, which is all about the oppression of workers in the meat-packing industry. Wait, I’m not quite sure where this is going at all. Well, I guess that the point of all of this is that you should try hummus, particularly this hummus, because you will know exactly where it came from and can be content that you are eating something without millions of preservatives!
Well, now that that is over, on to the subject of this post. This hummus is from Cook’s Illustrated and they recommend using Pastene chickpeas and some specific varieties of tahini. It was quite good, despite my not having their preferred products. I would say that it is better to process this more rather than less in order to get a really smooth texture and to try it out with dried chickpeas, which is the alternate version that I didn’t try but Cook’s Illustrated swears by. Here’s the recipe:
Cook’s Illustrated-May/June 2008
Makes 2 cups
Note: We recommend Jovya or Krinos tahini and Pastene chickpeas. The hummus can be refrigerated in an airtight container for 5 days. If you do not plan on serving it immediately, refrigerate the hummus and garnishes separately. When ready to serve, stir in approximately 1 tablespoons warm water if the texture is too thick.
3 tablespoons juice from 1 to 2 lemons
1/4 cup water
6 tablespoons tahini stirred well (see note)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
1-14 ounce can chickpeas, drianed and rinsed (see note)
1 small garlic clove, minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 1/2 teaspoon)
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro or parsley leaves
1. Combine lemon juice and water in a small bowl or measuring cup. Whisk together tahini and 2 tablespoons oil in a second small bowl or measuring cup. Set aside 2 tablespoons chickpeas for garnish.
2 Process remaining chickpeas, garlic, salt, cumin, and cayenne in a food processor until almost fully ground, about 15 seconds. Scrape down bowl with rubber spatula. With machine running, add lemon juice-water mixture in a steady stream through feed tube. Scrape down bowla and continue to process for one minute. With machine running, add oil-tahini mixture in a steady stream through feed tube; continue to process until hummus is smooth nad creamy, about 15 seconds, scraping down bowl as needed.
3 Transfer hummus to a serving bowl, sprinkle reserved chickpeas and cilantro over surface, cover with plastic wrap, and let stand until flavors meld, at least 30 minutes. Drizzle with olive oil and serve.