I never used to like hummus and it is such a huge trend these days. While I was at Ballymaloe, I was introduced to dried chickpeas. I honestly didn’t realize there was such a thing. Typically in America, we only have canned chickpeas and the texture of canned chickpeas is disgusting in my opinion. Making hummus from scratch and starting with dried chickpeas makes all the difference in my opinion.
1 cup dried chickpeas
2 teaspoons baking soda, divided
juice of 2 lemons (about 1/2 cup)
zest of 1 lemon
4 – 5 garlic cloves, grated or crushed
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 cup tahini
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, more to taste
extra virgin olive oil, for serving
Gremolata, see recipe
- In a bowl, cover chickpeas with cold water (chickpeas covered by at least 2 inches of water). Stir 1 teaspoon baking soda into the water and let soak at room temperature overnight. Drain and rinse.
- In a medium pot, cover soaked chickpeas with water (chickpeas covered by at least 4 inches of water). Add the remaining teaspoon baking soda and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium high and let cook at a vigorous simmer until chickpeas are quite soft, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. (Slightly overcooked chickpeas are the secret to the best creamy hummus; don’t worry if they start to break down a bit.) Drain and save the cooking water.
- While chickpeas are cooking, make the sauce. In a blender, combine the lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Let the mixture sit 10 minutes. Add the tahini, the remaining 1 teaspoon salt, and the cumin, and blend until a thick paste forms.
- Drain the chickpeas and save the cooking water. Add 1/3 to 2/3 cup of the cooking water while the blender is running, a little at a time, until sauce is smooth. Stop to scrape down sides of blender occasionally. You’re looking for a wonderfully smooth, creamy sauce.
- Add the warm, drained chickpeas to the blender with tahini mixture. Blend until perfectly smooth and not at all grainy, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl occasionally. This blending may take upward of about 2 minutes; just keep going until the mixture is ultra-creamy, adding a little more of the cooking water if you need it to make the contents of the blender move. Taste the hummus for seasoning. Add more salt, lemon juice and/or cumin as needed.
- To serve, spread the hummus in a shallow bowl, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with gremolata. I usually serve this with pita bread (sometimes homemade; I’ll post that later).