Wednesday, May 5, 2010

DIY Hummus

Hummus is one of the easiest 'gourmet' things you can make, and since there's no cooking involved (unless you want to cook your own beans, which is as foolproof a cooking endeavor as you can undertake; that way you can more easily control your sodium intake, as most canned beans are rife with salt), you cannot mess it up. Literally. In fact, most Mediterranean-style cooking is so easy as to be almost formulaic or intuitive, and once you get a few recipes under your belt, simple substitutions will enable you to multiply your repertoire three- or four-fold for each recipe, and add new nuances to old staples.

Hummus, with no cooking, goes like this:
  • 1 can (14 oz) chickpeas/garbanzo beans (I know, at this point every can in the store says both "chickpeas" and "garbanzo beans," but the day I can no longer relevantly use the word "garbanzo" is the day my culinary soul... well, 'dies' is too strong an idea, but... definitely it will lose a finger)
  • 1/4 cup tahini (sesame seed paste; your grocery store has it, just ask)
  • 2-4 Tbsp extra virgin or virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
  • juice of 1 lemon (about 2 Tbsp; if you get more than that, reserve as needed)
  • sea salt and pepper
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin or paprika, plus paprika for garnish
  • minced herb for garnish (traditionally parsley, but basil, cilantro, anything but mint would work pretty well)
How you make hummus is, you put all that stuff in a blender and make it creamy. Blend and scrape and scrape and blend, it should take about two minutes. A lot of people stop here, and this is why maybe you've made hummus in the past and not been that impressed. But then what you have to do (HAVE TO) is let that mix sit for at least thirty minutes, and preferably an hour or more, in the fridge. The flavors have to meld. Without the melding of the flavors, you'll have tahini-chickpea-garlic-(but-mostly-tahini)-flavored mush. It's still damn flavorful, and 90% of people can't tell, but if you let it rest, you'll have the magical, tangy mush that is delicious hummus.

These pita are homemade, but I recommend you find a local middle Eastern bakery and buy 'em fresh. As satisfying as making your pita at home may be, you will never match the flavor and texture of one of those delightful local bakeries. Here in KC, we have Bethlehem Bakery and Jerusalem Bakery, which are the two most prominent. If we have ones not named after locales in the Holy Land, I don't know about them.

[This was posted by May, but written by Matt]

1 comment:

  1. I love hummus! I'm so glad I stopped by from New Friend Friday! I'll definitely be trying this recipe. Have a great weekend!