The Hummus Games

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I love hummus.  I think its one of those perfect foods that I can just eat and eat and eat because its so versatile and simple and tasty and filled with things that are all good for me (or so I tell myself).

Normally when I make hummus, I use David Lebovitz’ recipe.  I like that its a bit chunky and has a lot of vibrant colors and flavors in it.  But seeing as its spring time, a time for change and renewal, I decided to make a new hummus.

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Soakin’ chickpeas

I’ve been eyeing Deb Perelman’s Ethereally Smooth Hummus for months.  It involves a few more steps than Lebovitz’ recipe but promises outstandingly smooth and aerated hummus.

The “few” more steps involves peeling chickpeas.  Which took about 20 minutes but was done while watching Community.  Would be a mixed bag, but Community has gone down hill recently.

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Perfectly peeled chickpeas! Huzzah!

Since my food processor is a mini one and can handle about half a load of hummus, I decided to make two versions.  I did one “classic” version, following Perelman’s recipe exactly, and one that was more my own making, with parsley and dried chiles and fancy salt.

And then I compared them.  To see which was better and which deserved to be the victor in The Hummus Games, Spring 2013, Johns Hopkins edition.

Personally, I much preferred the parslefied slightly spicy hummus.  Very slightly spicy because too much spice and I sit in a corner downing milk for a few hours.  But anyways, this hummus was greenish, which gives it major props, and also is almost finished whereas I’ve only eaten about half of the other one.  I think the recipe could benefit from a touch of olive oil as well, for more fat and awesomeness.

Kristin's Cat

Pickle always wants more fat.  Look how hungry he is.

However the peeling of the chickpeas?  Totally worth it.  Incredible results.  Loved it.  Will be doing it always.  Well most of the time.  Maybe not when I have company over.  Its not a pretty sight.

I know that putting parsley and spices and what have you into hummus is not traditional, but I think at least some fancy sea salt is necessary for a bit of extra flavor don’t you?  It really brightens up the dish. As does lots of lemon, garlic, and tahini.  Especially garlic because I am Italian and garlic is essential to a healthy and vibrant life.

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Ethereally Smooth and Slightly Green Hummus

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen (If you want her original recipe, which really is quite good and classic, I linked to it up above when I mentioned the Smitten Kitchen recipe)

2/3 cup dry chickpeas or 1 3/4 cups cooked chick peas (from one 15 ounce can)

1/2 teaspoon baking soda (dried chickpeas only)

1/2 cup tahini paste

2 tablespoons lemon juice (more to taste)

2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped (or more to taste)

1/2 teaspoon Maldon salt (or another flaky sea salt) plus more to taste

3-5 tablespoons lightly chopped parsley leaves, more to taste (and color)

Chili peppers or chili powder, to taste

1/4 cup water or reserved chickpea liquid

A couple tablespoons olive oil (optional, untested, but like, more fat), but definitely drizzle on top

To cook dry chickpeas:

Let the chickpeas soak overnight with enough water to cover the beans by 3 to 4 inches.  Drain in the morning.  Place in a pot.  Add the baking soda and sauté over medium heat for 3-4 minutes, to remove the gassy effects.  Add in 3-4 cups water and bring to a boil.  Cook for 20-40 minutes, depending on the freshness of the beans, until the chickpeas are tender to crumble easily between your fingers.  Skim off any foam that rises to the surface.  Once cooked, strain the chickpeas and cool until you can handle them.

If using canned chickpeas, start here.

To peel the skins, I found it easiest to basically pinch off the skin.  I grabbed the chickpeas by their pointy end and pinched the skin right off, but feel free to find your own method.  It took me about 20 minutes, but was totally worth it.

Place the chickpeas in the bowl of a food processor and pulse for one minute, until it forms powdery clumps.  Scrape down the sides and add in the lemon juice, tahini, garlic, and salt.  Blend until puréed. Add in the parsley and dried chilies.  I used about half of a red chili, but you will probably want more.  Blend until puréed.  With the motor running, add in the water or chickpea liquid until the hummus becomes “ethereally” smooth.  Either add in a bit of olive oil to make it nice and fat or save that for drizzling on top of the hummus.  Adjust the seasonings, adding more of this and that until the hummus is to your liking.  Eat whichever way you’d like; I enjoy hummus with a spoon.

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9 comments
  1. Stephanie Cascio said:

    The perfect hummus is something to quest after like the ultimate cheesecake or the perfect gingerbread. Skinning chick peas, who knew? This one is definitely on my list to make!

    • Eliza B said:

      I agree completely! I think the perfect any food is a mythical quest away. I don’t think we’ll ever get there, but it is fun trying.

      • Stephanie Cascio said:

        Disagree! You can get there, personally and subjectively. I know that I have. It is very satisfying. But it is not possible to resolve a quest objectively and universally, people have different tastes.

  2. You should get Twitter too. More ways to publicize.

    • Eliza B said:

      I am sadly a young person who does not understand twittering.

  3. Kathy Blake said:

    I love hummus; wonderful to know that others do, too. There is always a supply in my fridge. Now, more options than ever with your recipe for the slightly spicy version.

    • Eliza B said:

      Yes and though I definitely indulge in the store bought version, nothing compares to making your own. Let me know how this one goes if you make it!

  4. Ahlam said:

    agreed!!

    So easy to tailor to your specific taste, too!. xox

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