I’m a complete and total fiend for hummus. If you ask my mother where my culinary journey started she probably would tell you of one particular moment in my childhood. Picture this: She walks around our house and catches my sister and I out of the corner of her eye. We were mere toddlers and thought it was a great idea to have a hummus party in the bathroom using the lid of our toilet as a table. We did put a blanket over it as a tablecloth to complete the ambiance. Strange, but children are kind of weird like that. Also, if you’re not tall enough to reach the formal dining room table then you’ve got to be resourceful! Needless to say this has been recorded on a vhs tape that we revisit every once in awhile for a good laugh.
If there is one Lebanese dish that has captivated the western world it is Hummus. I lived overseas in Saudi Arabia as a kid and when I came back to the US as a teenager suddenly hummus was all the rage, however I found the hummus they enjoyed from the store was just not as good as the hummus of my childhood. Also, the flavor variety of hummus here in the United States is intense…. ANYTHING can be hummus! I started buying some of the different flavors just because I had never experienced it and wanted to know if I was missing something. I really think I was but I also thought to myself that they would all be a thousand times better if they were tailored to a taste the eater would enjoy rather than a mass amount of people. What the average consumer and connoisseur of hummus doesn’t realize is just how easy it is to make it yourself. You just have to have a few basic things in your pantry and voila. You’ve got an amazing snack in a larger amount than you’d buy at the store at the fraction of the cost.
Disclaimer: there are probably fifty ways to do hummus, but I’m just going to give you a few to start you on your hummus journey.
What is the basis of your hummus?
Chickpeas - This is what gives your hummus the taste. High in protein and fiber too. I also like to roast chickpeas for vegan tacos!
Tahini Sauce - Sauce made from ground and toasted sesame - it’s what makes your Hummus smooth and creamy. If you want to use it for anything else though here’s a couple suggestions:
Tahini dressing with Lemon, Garlic, and water until it is runny
Tahini and Honey - put in a puff pastry makes a delicious nutty treat
Garlic - The flavor boost that a hummus needs. Hummus without garlic is a travesty in my opinion!
Lemon Juice - Compliments the garlic and add a bit of acidity to your hummus!
Water - Helps the food processor along by adding additional 0 calorie moisture and aids in the texture.
Where do you start? With the basis for all hummus of course, the OG!
2 small cans of chickpeas ( I use GOYA)
3-4 TBS Tahini Sauce
Juice of 2 Lemons
3-4 Large Garlic Cloves (add more or less to your liking)
1 cup water
Add everything else except the water and garlic to the blender. Then mash your garlic with a mortar and pestle. Mashing the garlic releases its full flavor potential. Then add the mashed garlic and start pulsing the ingredients in your food processor adding water as needed to get the desired consistency. Play around with the tahini sauce if you would like your hummus more smooth. Also be sure to taste test as you go to get the flavor you truly want! Once you’ve found your happy place enjoy with lebanese bread, crackers, pita bread, veggies or whatever else you enjoy eating hummus with!
Here are some variations of the basic hummus that I’ve created over the past few months and have found myself really enjoying!
Artichoke Hearts and Kale Hummus: just add them into the food processor and enjoy! Spinach and artichoke Hummus is also a possibility if you’re not into kale!
Zataar Oven-Dried Tomato Hummus: Maureen Abood’s recipe for Oven Dried tomatoes seasoned with Zataar is not only amazing, but a total lifesaver if you have a garden and more tomatoes than you know what to do with! They really bring hummus to a whole other level too!
Beet Hummus: The color alone is a showstopper! The beets flavor also brings hummus into an earthy place that I was pleasantly surprised with. In this instance,topped mine with feta, olive oil and green onions.
I hope that this springboard starts you on your journey to delicious homemade hummus of all sorts of epic flavors and colors! If you ever decide to experiment tag me in your instagram photos to show me what you’ve made! You can find me @culturetotable!