Thursday, September 30, 2010


For me, hummus is a staple. It's always almost in the fridge somewhere. It makes its way onto sammiches, into rice bowls, over pasta, inside baked things. In school, once, I built an entire turkey (loose description) out of tri-colored hummus and left it for my sculpture class to find the day before thanksgiving. What I'm saying is, I'm serious-casual about the stuff. It's complicated.

As my love for chickpeasesamebutter ages, tho, I'm noticing a lean towards a more spartan approach. The dip, over time, is simplifying and distilling the basic tastes into a relatively inflexible balance of proportions. And with this paring-down comes baroque accompaniments, as if I can't help but love how awesome hummus tastes with fried egg or onion, but don't want to taste it every time I take a bite. Because really, all you need is c-pea, tahini, olive oil, garlic, lemon, salt, a teeny bit of sugar, and an even teenier bit of toasty cumin (and even that's nonessential).

The recipe below is what I've finally settled on. I make it this way each and every time I go at the peas and 'hini. I'm going to try and pry every accessory from the recesses of my legume-addled brain in a list below that recipe. If you've got any others, I'd love to hear 'em.

Basic Hummus

2 cups drained well-cooked or canned chickpeas, 1 cup of their cooking or canning water reserved
1/2 cup tahini
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp salt
Dash sugar

1 tablespoon ground cumin, toasted

Blender (not a food processor! smoothness is key!)

In a blender, put your drained chickpeas. Add lemon juice, salt, minced garlic, and tahini. Start the blender. Add your reserved chickpea water, a little at a time, until a paste begins to form. Scrape down the sides. Keep adding water until things are moving slowly but smoothly, and with the motor running, add the oil. Blend a couple minutes for smoothness. Scrape it all into a bowl, to serve.

You can expand the above proportions to fit the amount of chickpeas you have, but do it in batches. Otherwise, getting that smooth, creamy texture becomes impossible.

Things I've eaten with hummus:
Warm, fried eggs, thinly sliced
Olives of any kind, color, size, stuffing
Israeli pickles
Sliced red onion
Chunks of cuke
Chiffonade lettuce or spinach
Tomatoes - large, sliced, cherry, sliced
Pickled cabbage
Pickled jalapenos
Red pepper, fresh
Springs of dill, parsley

To top, before serving:
Chili powder, tex-mex variety (yeah, I totally thought it was smoked paprika, but it was pretty delish)
Smoked paprika
Celery salt
Powdered tomato
Curry powder
Smoked habanero powder
Olive oil
Truffle oil

Hot sauces, ie more accessories:
Sriracha or Cock sauce
Chili oil
Sesame Chili oil (a personal fav, available in Asian groceries)

Scoopy starches:
Toasted bread - pita, english muffin, sliced french, toasted
Corn Chips
Fajita tortillas (the process goes Ethiopian, here, because you're grabbing handfuls of stuff with floppy bread)
Bagel chips

Mmm. Might be time to go make a hummus breakfast bagel.


  1. looks so delicious! now i have to decide between this and the egg tahini salad recipe i found for lunch

  2. My favorite thing to eat with hummus is roasted squash (especially kabocha)!

  3. Pride - seriously - I've never thought of that, so, shame on me. And it's squash season even!