Saturday, April 21, 2012

Homemade Hummus

I try to keep enough snacks on hand at work so that I'm not starving by the time I get home, but I still need to eat something as soon as I walk in the door. Hummus with crackers or carrots is a go-to snack for the hubs and me, and a few scoops are enough to tide us over till dinner. Food is pretty pricey here in Sydney, and hummus ain't cheap at $5-$7 for a small tub. Many brands have preservatives, which we have to avoid, and others really over-do it on the olive oil. So a couple of months ago I bought a jar of tahini and began making hummus.
Southern Spoon blog: homemade hummus
all you need for a batch of healthy hummus
It took a few batches to get the right consistency and flavour, but I've now got a basic recipe down and have begun experimenting with other ingredients (see the Variations below). Sometimes I'll make a double batch, using one can of chickpeas and one of canellini beans for a velvety smooth texture. To change up the flavour, I'll add a few roasted red piquillo or bell peppers with some cumin and paprika, or a spoonful of capers and chopped fresh rosemary.  The basic recipe below has a nice tang from the garlic and lemon.  If you want a more subtle garlic flavor, cover the garlic clove in foil and roast it in an oven at 400F/200C for 15-20 minutes.  Then peel and chop the roasted clove and add it to the mixture in the blender.

A food processor would work best for this, but I just use the blender I have.  I split the ingredients in half, blending one half of everything except the tahini, scraping that half out and setting it aside, then blending the other half.  I then incorporate everything in the blender and add the tahini last to thicken it up.  If you have a food processor (or a better quality blender than mine!), I imagine that throwing everything in at once and blending thoroughly would work fine.  
Southern Spoon blog: homemade hummus
the perfect snack: homemade hummus topped with extra virgin olive oil
and served with multigrain rice crackers.
Serve the hummus topped with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, accompanied by crackers and fresh veggies for dipping.  Experiment with your own add-ins and seasonings, and thank yourself for saving a little of your grocery budget! 

Homemade Hummus
makes about one and a half cups

1 can chickpeas, rinsed thoroughly and drained (I try to find one without added salt)
zest and juice of one lemon
1 clove garlic, peeled and coursely chopped (roast the whole clove in foil at 400F/200C for 15-20 minutes before peeling and chopping if you prefer a more subtle flavour)
2-4 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, plus a little more for drizzling on top to serve
1-2 tablespoons tahini (I've been using tahini made from unhulled sesame seeds, which is darker and has a slightly stronger flavour.  Tahini from hulled sesame seeds will work fine, too)
freshly ground sea salt and pepper to taste

Place the drained chickpeas, lemon zest and juice, garlic, 2 tablespoons of water and 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil in a food processor or blender. If following any of the variations, add additional ingredients at this point. (If using a blender, you may find it easier to split the ingredients in half and blend in two separate batches, incorporating everything at the end when you add the tahini). Pulse blend for a few minutes until the chickpeas are almost completely processed, stopping to scrape down the sides with a spatula when necessary.  

If the mixture isn't blending well, add a little more water, a tablespoon at a time, until the mixture will blend more easily.  

Add the tahini and a bit of freshly ground sea salt and pepper, and give the mixture a final few pulse blends to fully incorporate everything. Add up to another whole tablespoon of tahini if you prefer a thicker texture. Taste test and add a little more salt and pepper as necessary.  

Serve right away, drizzling a little extra virgin olive oil on top, or cover and chill for up to 3 days. Serve with crackers (rice crackers are great), pita or turkish bread, and fresh vegetables for dipping.


Roasted Red Bell Pepper (Capsicum) Hummus: Add 1/4 cup chopped roasted red bell pepper (capsicum) to the chickpeas in the first step of blending. To spice it up, add a little pinch of cayenne pepper or dried chili flakes, and a 1/2 teaspoon each of ground cumin and smoked paprika.
(You can use the roasted, marinated bell pepper strips that come in a jar, or you can also roast your own. De-seed a bell pepper and cut in half, place on a cookie sheet/ baking tray skin side up. Roast under the broiler (grill) in the oven, about 3-4 inches from the heat source, for 3-5 minutes, until softened and skin begins to bubble and slightly blacken.  Remove from oven and place in a sealed plastic bag for a few minutes to cool.  When cool enough to touch, remove peppers from plastic bag and peel off the skin, it should come off fairly easily after cooling in the bag.  Discard skins.)

Smoked Paprika Hummus: add 2-3 teaspoons smoked paprika (to taste) along with the chickpeas in the first step of blending.

Rosemary Basil Hummus (with or without olives): add 2 teaspoons chopped, fresh rosemary, 2 teaspoons chopped, fresh basil, and 2 teaspoons capers (rinsed) to the chickpeas in the first step of blending. If desired, add also a handful of chopped, pitted black olives in the first step of blending.

Curried Hummus: add 2 teaspoons curry powder to the chickpeas in the first step of blending.

1 comment:

  1. This looks great! I've been eating a lot of chickpeas lately and I love them. I've been roasting mine with olive oil and spices and they're really tasty.


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