Hummus is an amazing food. Not only is it incredibly tasty, it provides 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.

Canned chickpeas can be used if absolutely necessary. However, they cost more and the canning liquid is often thick with additives. Can you guess that I am in favor of the dried?

  • Servings: 8
  • Time: 2hr 0mins
  • Difficulty: Easy
1 1/2 cups tap water
3/4 cups dried chickpeas
In a 1-quart tri-ply saucepan bring water and chickpeas to the boil over medium-high heat. Promptly cover and reduce heat to hold at a simmer (195-205°F) until the chickpeas are easily mashed with your thumb (about 1 1/2 hours). Simmering softens without texture damaging turbulence.
Place a rack in the center position of a toaster oven; preheat to 350°F “Convection” (verify with an oven thermometer). Ovens often run hot or cold, or preheat slowly.
1/2 cup (2 ounces) sliced white or yellow onion Place on a little pan that fits in the toaster oven.

Tip: With an onion on its side, cut off and discard both ends. Cut in half from pole to pole; peel off any layers that look dry or tough; discard. Place cut sides down and slice to 1/4-inch, holding the pieces together as you work.

Holding slices together reduces exposure to eye-irritants.
2 cloves (1/2 ounce) garlic, quartered Tip: After separating a garlic clove from the head; cut off the root end. Place the broad side of a chef’s knife over top; strike with your fist or palm. Release skin and discard. Quarter. Large pieces of garlic are less likely to burn during roasting.
1 tablespoon olive oil Drizzle over onion and garlic. Toss with your hands to evenly coat; spread in an even layer. Roast until onion shows signs of browning (about 20 minutes). Onions and garlic mellow and sweeten when roasted.
Add chickpeas, cooking liquid, onions and garlic to a food processor. Cooking liquid adds flavor.
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
(about 1 1/3 lemon)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon tahini
(sesame paste)
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika
Extra water
Add all to the food processor. Pulse, scraping down the sides with a silicone spatula as needed. Add extra water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until it becomes a pourable, very smooth purée similar to thin applesauce. Pour into a shallow 1-pint container; use the end of a spoon to make a spiral groove in the surface. Do not reheat at any time.

Tip: Cut lemons in half at their equators, place cut sides down and quarter. Juice with a citrus squeezer held over a mesh strainer to catch the seeds.

Lemon juice adds flavor and is a natural preservative.
Tahini is generally sold in the peanut butter grocer isle.
Hummus purée seems a little thin when freshly made, but thickens with refrigeration.
Reheating hummus causes solidification.
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/16 teaspoon paprika
Drizzle oil in a big spiral over hummus; sprinkle with paprika. Chill 2-3 hours before serving. Finishing with extra-virgin adds a fresh, nutty flavor and helps prevent dehydration.

Testing Notes: 1/4 teaspoon sesame seed oil may be substituted for the tahini.

To the ingredients in the food processor add 1 teaspoon cilantro leaves, 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper, 1/2 teaspoon cumin plus 2 roughly chopped fresh jalapeños. Over the olive oil/paprika topping sprinkle 1/16 teaspoon cilantro and 1/16 teaspoon crushed red pepper. Tip: When cutting jalapeños, take care to wear hand protection. Place peppers on end and slice off the sides; remove seeds or membrane still attached. Cut across slices to chop.
To the ingredients in the food processor add 2 teaspoons Italian herb mix (basil, parsley, oregano) plus 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper. Over the olive oil/paprika topping sprinkle 1/16 teaspoon crushed red pepper and 1/16 teaspoon Italian herb mix (basil, parsley, oregano).

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