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 (choose one with a glass lid) bring all to the boil over high heat. Promptly cover and reduce heat to hold at a simmer until chickpeas easily mash with your thumb (about 1 ½ hours). In the final half hour, start the onions and garlic.||Glass makes monitoring easy. Gentle simmering softens chickpeas without damaging turbulence.|
||Place on a toaster oven sheet pan.
Tip: With an onion on its side, cut off and discard both ends. Cut in half from pole to pole; discard dry or tough layers. Place cut sides down and slice to ¼ inch, holding the pieces together as you work.
|Holding slices together reduces exposure to eye-irritants.|
||Add garlic to onion. Drizzle oil on top and toss with your hands to coat evenly; spread in an even layer. Roast in a toaster oven at 350°F until onion shows signs of browning (about 20 minutes).
Tip: After separating a garlic clove from the head, cut off the root end. Place the broad side of a chef’s knife on top; strike hard to crush. Release skin and discard; quarter.
|Large pieces of garlic are less likely to burn during roasting. Onions and garlic mellow and sweeten when roasted.|
|Pour off ¾ cup cooking liquid; reserve. Add chickpeas, remaining cooking liquid, onions, and garlic to a food processor.||Including cooking liquid adds flavor.|
||Add all to food processor. Pulse, stopping as needed, to scrape down the sides with a silicone spatula. Add reserved water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until it becomes a 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 the purée at any time.
Tip: Cut lemons in half at their equators, place cut sides down; quarter. Juice with a citrus squeezer held over a mesh strainer to catch the seeds.
|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 big spiral over hummus; finish with paprika. Chill 2-3 hours before serving.||Finishing with extra-virgin adds a fresh, nutty flavor and helps prevent dehydration.|
Additional Testing Notes: 1/4 teaspoon sesame seed oil may be substituted for the tahini.