I bet you thought hummus comes in pint containers and no other way. That’s how ubiquitous commercial hummus has become—a marked improvement over many mediocre commercial offerings, but commercial nonetheless. But wait till you see (a) how simple it is to whip up and (b) how many hats it wears, and how many exciting hummus variations you can make throwing in small leftover portions of some interesting ingredients. It is super healthy, so enjoy—as a dip or spread, or in a sandwich. My granddaughter Tsofia (above) simply couldn’t be without it! Let me also say, at the risk of appearing somewhat disingenuous, since hummus literally means “chickpeas” in Hebrew and Arabic, that you can substitute cooked tiny lentils (ready in just a few minutes) or canned white beans, and proceed exactly as instructed. My secret ingredient for delicious basic hummus: ground coriander. So here goes!
- 1 15-ounce can good-quality all natural chickpeas, liquid and all
- 2∕3 cup tahini (sesame paste)
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- 4 large cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander
- Ground pepper to taste (no salt please: the chickpeas are salty!)
Process all ingredients in a food processor until perfectly smooth. Pour into a flat platter.
Just before serving, drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with paprika and minced parsley. Serve with good olives and pita bread.
Consider these additions or substitutions at blending time, if you have any of the following on hand. As always, one at a time please!
- Roasted garlic hummus: Substitute 1 head roasted garlic (page 232) for the fresh garlic.
- Roasted pepper hummus: Throw in 2–3 roasted red peppers, bottled OK.
- Nutty hummus: Substitute peanut or other nut butter for the tahini.
- Spicy hummus: Make it as hot as you like, with jalapeño or chili powder to taste, and maybe some chopped cilantro and/or parsley.
- Avocado hummus: Substitute an avocado for the tahini.
- Spinach hummus: Throw in a handful of frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry.
- Tofu Hummus: Throw in a cup of tofu, and a little more tahini.
- Sun-dried tomato olive hummus: Omit the tahini, cumin, and coriander, and throw in some good pitted black olives, basil, and sun-dried tomatoes, rinsed and squeezed dry.
- Artichoke hummus: Omit the cumin and coriander and throw in a 10-ounce box frozen and thawed artichoke hearts and some fresh or dry rosemary.
- Roasted vegetable hummus: Throw in a handful of roasted veggies. No need to make them just for the purpose of this recipe. Just take them from a batch you might have on hand.