A basic hummus recipe is wonderful to have. Much more than just a dip for pita bread or vegetables (though it is perfectly acceptable to have it that way–see above), this Middle Eastern schmear makes a nice spread on sandwiches, and creates a light yet creamy pasta sauce with the addition of starchy pasta water, fresh herbs and lemon zest. Often I will prepare a cold couscous or bulghur salad with fresh veggies and plop a large scoop of hummus and a generous drizzle of olive oil on top.
Like most of my favorite recipes, hummus is a good base for creative flavoring additions. Once you have tinkered with the seasonings to find the right balance of flavors (note: I like more garlic in mine than you might), you can start to play with interesting additions like chipotles, sun-dried tomatoes, cilantro or roasted red peppers. You can even swap out some of the chickpeas for edamame or use cannellini beans instead.
Be sure to use good-quality extra virgin olive oil and that the raw ingredients are very fresh, as there are so few components to this recipe.
2 14-ounce cans chickpeas, drained (reserve 3 tablespoons of the liquid)
3 cloves garlic, smashed
1/4 cup tahini
Juice of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup good-quality extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
Sweet paprika, for garnish
Method: Combine the chickpeas and their liquid with the garlic, tahini, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a food processor. Blend for about 1 minute until smooth.
Scrape down the sides of the processor with a spatula.
Turn the processor back on low, and slowly stream in the olive oil until well incorporated. Check for seasoning and adjust as needed. If serving as a dip, drizzle the top with olive oil and garnish with a sprinkle of paprika. Keep in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to about two weeks. Makes about 1 1/2 lbs.