Monday, February 2, 2015

Creamy, Smooth, Delicious Hummus

Hummus is one of our favorite condiments. I feel funny even referring to it as a condiment because the kids and I will oftentimes make a meal out of a big bowl of hummus and some cut-up vegetables and pita bread! I certainly would not be doing that with ketchup or mustard. Well, except when I am in the midst of a mad pregnancy craving for mustard - then, I just might be seen eating it by the spoonful along with a fistful of dill pickles. This has been my predominant craving every single pregnancy.Why don't I crave non-gross things like ice cream?

My biggest pet peeve with most store-bought hummus packs is that they are not completely smooth in texture. Some brands have a gritty texture from the chickpeas not being blended entirely or because a lesser amount of tahini/oil was used when processing the hummus. In college, I hated the hummus served in the cafeteria (sorry Notre Dame Food Service!) because it was so salty, chunky, and blech! I never understood why people loved the stuff so much and just assumed it was one of those "health food trends" that people ate because it was good for them and not necessarily because they liked the flavor - like egg white omelets or brown rice. Then, I went to a Middle Eastern restaurant where they served hummus as an appetizer along with warm pita bread and it was so silky, so smooth, so beautifully seasoned, that I fell in love. I have since found that Sabra, a brand of hummus easily found in stores, is acceptably smooth and creamy. The brand produces an entire line of flavored hummus that I love but unfortunately the high price tag is often hard to stomach when it come to our family food budget.

Hummus was part of our Super Bowl appetizers this year.

I told him to "give me a REAL smile". This is definitely NOT it.

Too busy eating to smile.

A couple years ago, after I opened my beautiful food processor for Christmas, I began resorting to making my hummus at home and found a recipe that produces the perfectly smooth, creamy taste that made me fall in love with it in the first place. It is super easy to make - requiring maybe a total of 10 minutes - and is way more delicious than anything you can buy! There is a little bit of upfront cost involved because you do have to buy a jar of Tahini (I can find a 16 ounce jar for around seven dollars), but after that initial purchase you can make about 6 large batches of hummus from a single jar of Tahini. It's much easier on the wallet!

Engrossed with the game. We didn't care who won - and it was a good game to watch!

Fresh, homemade hummus tastes a lot "brighter" than the grocery store varieties. It's great plain, or you can add in a variety of mix-ins to give your hummus a unique flavor. We like chopped fresh cilantro and jalapeno, smoky chipotle, fresh lemon zest and dill, roasted garlic and rosemary, or whatever sounds good to you!

For the batch of hummus I photographed for this post, I kept things simple and just drizzled some chipotle-infused olive oil that I have over the top. It adds a great amount of extra flavor without too much heat, so the kids can still enjoy it right along with us!

Even though I technically published this on a Monday, I'm linking it up with Jessica and Katie and all the rest for #TuesdayTalk.

Creamy, Delicious Hummus
from Cook's Illustrated

3 tablespoons lemon juice (fresh is best, but bottle lemon juice works great!)
1/4 cup water
6 tablespoons tahini
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
14 ounces chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1 pinch cayenne pepper

Combine lemon juice and water in a small bowl or measuring cup. In another small bowl, whisk together tahini and 2 tablespoons oil.

Process the chickpeas, garlic, salt, cumin, and cayenne in food processor until almost fully ground, about 15 seconds. With machine running, add lemon juice-water mixture in steady stream through feed tube. Scrape down bowl and continue to process for 1 minute.

With machine running, add oil-tahini mixture in steady stream through feed tube and continue to process until hummus is smooth and creamy (about 15 seconds, scraping down bowl as needed).
Transfer hummus to serving bowl and cover with plastic wrap and let stand until the flavors meld, at least 30 minutes. Drizzle with additional olive oil, if desired, and serve with cut-up vegetables, pita bread, or tortilla chips.

This can also be done in a blender, but it takes a lot more scraping and patience. If you have a choice, go with the food processor.


  1. I love making hummus - though I don't think I usually add as much tahini and lemon juice. I like adding a dash of liquid smoke for a bit more smokey flavor. How thick does this recipe come out? Sometimes to get it so smooth, I feel like there is too much liquid and it ends up really thin. Hmmm...I might have to make a batch this evening. I'm getting hungry for hummus!

    1. Tori, it comes out pretty thick! For this recipe, I think the order you add the ingredients as well as making sure the machine runs long enough to full grind all the chunks is the key. I like that the beans are drained - a lot of other recipes call for undrained beans or the addition of water/vegetable broth. I like the flavor of tahini, but you could definitely add less!

  2. Monica, Hummus is a curiosity to me. I have not tasted any as yet. My cousin told me to make my own as the store bought ones simply cannot compare. I will keep your recipe for a day when I am feeling adventurous!

    1. I'm sure you will love it! The biggest flavor in there is the beans themselves and the Tahini - which I really don't like the taste of on it's own. But together they create something magical!! I hope I'm not talking it up too much. I am obsessed with hummus.

  3. I've made "hummus" twice. Once following a recipe. We didn't like it. The second, on my sister's recommendation, was just putting chickpeas and ranch dressing in the food processor. We liked this version a lot but probably wasn't the healthiest. Then we went back to buying the roasted red pepper hummus from Aldi. I should really try again though.

    1. Chickpeas and ranch...a non-traditional take, but I'm pretty sure Paul would love that!! I think using black beans would be even better in that version - and maybe some salsa or hot sauce for spice too. See, now I have to try that! I should try the hummus from Aldi sometime - maybe I'd like that one!

  4. This looks tasty and healthy! Thanks for linking up with Tuesday Talk!