Hummus is fantastic food. Not only is it incredibly tasty, but it also makes a complete protein (like meat) because it combines a legume (chickpeas) with a seed (sesame). We have never been vegetarians, but this is so good, I can almost envision it as possible. You can use canned chickpeas in a pinch. However, they cost more, and the canning liquid is often thick with additives. Can you guess that I am in favor of the dried?
|WHAT YOU NEED||WHAT TO DO||WHY|
||In a 1-quart tri-ply saucepan, bring all to a boil over high heat(~5 minutes). Cover (a glass lid works well for monitoring) and promptly reduce heat to hold at a simmer until chickpeas easily mash with your thumb (~1 ½ hours). Drain through a mesh strainer, reserving all the cooking liquid. In the final half-hour, start the onions and garlic.||Glass makes monitoring easy. Gentle simmering softens chickpeas without damaging turbulence.|
||On a toaster oven sheet pan, toss onion and garlic with oil to evenly coat; spread in an even layer. Roast in a toaster oven at 350°F until onion shows signs of browning (~18 minutes). Transfer to a food processor, along with the drained chickpeas.||Large pieces of garlic are less likely to burn during roasting. Regular olive oil is sufficient here; heat destroys and wastes the subtle flavors of expensive extra-virgin. Onions and garlic mellow and sweeten when roasted.|
||Add all to the food processor, along with 1 1/4 cups of the reserved cooking liquid. Purée until it is absolutely smooth, stopping as needed, to scrape down the sides with a silicone spatula. Pour into a shallow 1-pint container; use the end of a spoon to make a spiral groove in the surface. Do not reheat the purée at any time.||Lemon juice adds flavor and is a natural preservative. Hummus purée seems a little thin when freshly made, but thickens with refrigeration. Reheating hummus causes solidification.|
||Drizzle oil in a spiral over hummus; finish with paprika. Chill 2-3 hours before serving.||Finishing with extra-virgin olive oil adds a fresh layer of flavor and helps prevent dehydration.|
Additional Testing Notes: 1/4 teaspoon sesame seed oil may be substituted for the tahini.