How to Make Hummus
When it comes to hummus, we all covet that characteristic creamy texture. But even with its simplicity of ingredients and method, that creamy texture often eludes us when making hummus at home. What are the secrets of skillfully combining the basic ingredients of chickpeas, tahini, fresh lemon, and garlic to create the smooth and silky dip we love? Follow these simple steps and you'll be enjoying smooth and creamy hummus at home in no time.
Chickpeas softened perfectly for hummus should mash easily with your thumb. To soften canned chickpeas, place the contents of one (15 oz.) can chickpeas, undrained, and 1/4 a cup of water in a small saucepan. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove and discard any loose skins.
If cooking dried chickpeas, place in a large bowl and cover by 4 inches with cold water. Cover and let soak overnight. Drain the water and rinse chickpeas. Place rinsed chickpeas in a large pot and cover by 3 inches with cold water, add about 1/2 a teaspoon of salt, then bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 2 hours or until very tender.
For truly silky hummus, remove skins from the chickpeas. Allow simmered chickpeas to stand until cool enough to handle. Gently pinch each chickpea to slip off the skin. Or, place in a wire mesh strainer and rub gently against the strainer sides to remove skins.
Whip tahini in the food processor to incorporate air before combining it with the chickpeas. Place 1/4 a cup to 1/2 a cup of tahini, 1 clove of garlic, 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice, and 1 teaspoon of kosher salt in the work bowl of a food processor. Process for 1 minute. Scrape the sides of the bowl, and process for 30 to 45 seconds more.
Tahini is ground sesame seed paste, and lends the characteristic nutty flavor to hummus. The amount can be varied to suit personal taste. Not sure where to find tahini? Look for it near the peanut butters or in the ethnic foods section of the grocery store.
Add Olive Oil
With the food processor running, stream in 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil. Process for about 1 minute to incorporate fully.
Drain chickpeas, reserving any liquid.
Add half of the chickpeas and 1/4 a cup of the reserved liquid to the food processor. Process for 1 to 2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the work bowl once. Add the remaining chickpeas and process for an additional 1 to 2 minutes, or until smooth.
If needed, add water to reserved chickpea liquid to equal 1/4 a cup.
Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of reserved chickpea liquid or water, a little at a time, until desired consistency is achieved. Process for 20 to 30 seconds after each addition.
Top & Serve
Place hummus in a serving bowl. Drizzle the top with a bit of olive oil and sprinkle with paprika. Serve with pita bread, pita chips or assorted vegetables for dipping.
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Store hummus in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.