To say I’m obsessed with this hummus is an understatement…in fact, I don’t even know what words I would use to describe this besides one of the best things that has ever come out of my kitchen.
I mean, if the pictures alone don’t make you want to stop what you’re doing and immediately make this, I don’t know what will. But I have to admit, you need to plan ahead with this because…
You’re going to cook dried chickpeas and they take a few hours. Sure, you can use a can-but I’m giving you my very favorite recipe for hummus and we’re not taking any shortcuts here.
Also…YOU NEED PEELED CHICKPEAS. I’m sorry, I know this will probably require a special online order or trip to the store, but it is 100% worth it. Many food bloggers and chefs agree-Smitten Kitchen, Cooks’ Illustrated, Maureen Abood and Yotam Ottolenghi, for some pretty elite and distinguished starters. The skins never completely disintegrate when pureèd, so you end up with microscopic but very detectable lumps in your hummus. Just to be clear: it’s still delicious and 100% edible and how many many people in the world make their hummus. BUUUUUT if we’re going to make homemade hummus, we’re going to go all the way. Shhhh though…I have a secret: you can buy pre-peeled chickpeas. Right here. I cannot recommend these enough; I always have a few bags in the pantry for whenever I want to whip up this hummus, or just cook incredibly tender and creamy chickpeas.
I first read about this trick in Maureen Abood’s cookbook, Rose Water & Orange Blossoms, and my mind was blown. Chickpeas have skins?! Yes, guys, they do and they literally look like our skin. Gross, right?! Exactly, which is why we should be removing them.
Then the idea started to pick up steam in a few other cookbooks and food sites. And then I had the most life-changing hummus at a little Middle Eastern restaurant in Mentor, Ohio of all places…and it was still warm. WHAT?! Hummus can be served at something other than fridge-cold, also known as the tempt where a lot of flavors are dulled?!
To create this recipe, I essentially looked at a ton of other recipes and mashed all the parts I liked together; specifically, Smitten Kitchen, Yotam Ottolenghi via Jersusalem, Maureen Abood via Rose Water & Orange Blossoms and Michael Solomonov via Zahav.
- We’re going to buy peeled chickpeas (okay, if worse comes to worse, the skins will mostly disintegrate with the use of baking soda and a long cook until they’re almost mushy-search Yotam Ottolenghi’s hummus recipe online, or buy his absolutely phenomenal cookbook, Jerusalem, which talks in depth about hummus-making.
- We’re also going to cook our chickpeas for a few hours, until they are super tender, creamy and almost to the point of mush. We’re blending them up anyway, so it really doesn’t matter if we overcook them. All the better, actually! The length of time you need to cook your chickpeas depends on how fresh they are, so you will want to taste after a few hours, and then every so often after that, until they are soft.
- I haven’t mentioned this other crucial fact yet: you are going to add an ungodly, almost embarrassing amount of tahini. Sorry, not sorry, just do it. You can adjust up (or down) to taste, but I found the right amount was about 1 cup as stated in the recipe. I love Soom Tahini and it’s what I use anytime I call for tahini.
- Use really good olive oil! Something Mediterranean or Middle Eastern is great, but here’s a few of my favorites: Olio Santo, Terra Medi or Enzo. Oh and don’t be shy about drizzling it all over the hummus!
- Puree to smithereens! Like as long as you can stand.
- Let it sit for about 30 minutes to thicken slightly-but eat it warm! Preferably with soft, fresh pita for dipping and swooping.
Pro tip: Make the chile butter from this recipe, Turkish Eggs with Chile Butter, Labneh and Greens, and drizzle it all over the top in place of olive oil. IT IS LIFE-CHANGING.
Now get to making hummus and practice that hummus swoop!
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
10 ounces (283 grams) dried, peeled chickpeas
7 cups water
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
4 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1 cup tahini paste
4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
6 to 7 tablespoons ice-cold water
Kosher salt, to taste
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
Ground sumac, for sprinkling
In a large, heavy-bottomed Dutch oven, combine the chickpeas, water and baking soda. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 1-3/4 to 2 hours, until very soft. Stay close to the pot as the water has a tendency to boil over! Skim any foam off the top and add additional water to keep the chickpeas covered, if necessary.
Drain the chickpeas once soft; you should have between 550 and 600 grams of cooked chickpeas at this point. Transfer to a food process, add the garlic and process until smooth. With the machine running, add the tahini, lemon juice and ice water, and continue to process until completely smooth, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with kosher salt. Transfer to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap, pressing down to touch the surface of the hummus. Let sit at room temperature for 15 to 30 minutes, until thickened and set. Serve warm or at room temperature. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sumac, if desired. Serve with pita wedges or pita chips (or both!).
Refrigerate the leftovers and bring to room temperature before serving again.