Traditionally, hummus consists of chickpeas (garbanzo beans), tahini (ground sesame seeds), olive oil, lemon juice, salt and garlic. The beauty of the basic recipe is that you can change it up by adding a red bell pepper or substitute another vegetable, such as, artichoke or eggplant for example.
I find raw garlic to be a bit harsh in hummus. If you do not have the time or inclination to roast the garlic, you can soak the cloves in the lemon juice for 10 minutes and then add both to the processor and continue with the recipe. The citric acid in the lemon juice mellows the harsh-tasting compounds in raw garlic much the same as when garlic is heated. However, this technique will not bring out the sweeter side of garlic that roasting does.
Typically hummus is used as a dip or spread and served with warm pita bread but, I have also turned it into a sauce for pasta and a vinaigrette for salads.
- 1 cup chickpeas
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 cloves roasted garlic, mashed
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 red bell pepper, roasted, peeled and seeded
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- Using a food processor, combine chickpeas (if using canned, drain and rinse), tahini, and lemon juice.
- Add the garlic, red bell pepper and olive oil and then pulse until it becomes a smooth, spreadable consistency. Taste and then add the salt (less if you used canned chickpeas, more if you prefer).
- Transfer to a shallow bowl and serve with warm pita bread, crostini or bruschette.