For a long time I felt like everyone else’s kids liked hummus, and mine didn’t and I felt like they were missing out.
Hummus is such a great food – a dip, a sandwich spread, nutritious, ubiquitous, and truly easy to make. And finally it happened: hummus slid over onto the list of liked foods. Probably something else slid off, because that’s the way things seem to work, but hey, mission accomplished.
(This reminds me for some reason of a dinner I made recently: an adventurous seafood stew, a root vegetable dish, and a green salad that featured chopped dried fruit. Jack took one look at the table and asked, “Mom, did you purposely set out to make a meal that contained only foods that I hate?” I share this so you can rest assured that though my kids are pretty good eaters, it ain’t all rainbows and sunshine at my table every night).
Tips for Great Hummus
I have made pretty good hummus for years, but only recently did I figure out a few things that made me love it even more.
- Add a nice amount of water. Including water in addition to olive oil lets you get to a fluffy, soft, creamy texture, without an unconscionable amount of oil. Having the water be slightly warm means that the pureed chickpeas will get even creamier, though cool water is also fine. You can refrigerate the hummus if you want to serve it cool.
- If you want a looser texture, add more water and olive oil, and make sure it is served right away, or allowed to come to room temperature before serving. It will thicken up and get a stiffer texture in the fridge, which you may prefer.
- Don’t just process the mixture until it is blended – let that machine go for 2 or 3 minutes at full throttle for the creamiest texture. Furthermore, the heat from the motor starts to warm the hummus a bit, so while you can certainly make it ahead, there is something about fresh, slightly warm hummus that is just fantastic.
Make Ahead Hummus
This will keep in the refrigerator for up to a week. Bring to room temperature before serving if preferred (I prefer it that way).
Here’s one (totally) optional secret ingredient: sesame oil. Can you believe it? It’s so crazy and so simple at the same time. My friend, Chris Styler, who is fairly brilliant in the kitchen, was cooking with me one day, I realized I was out of tahini, and he said, “Just use sesame oil instead.”
So now I sometimes use both, which gives the whole thing a deeply rich sesame flavor. And one time, when I was out of tahini altogether (it happens, right?), I made a version with only sesame oil, and it was absolutely delicious.
You can also add:
- A squirt of hot sauce
- A pinch or two of cayenne pepper
- A teaspoon or two of harissa
- Caramelized or sauteed onions (or put them on top)
- Za’atar ( a Middle Eastern seasoning blend)
- Roasted red peppers
- Diced avocado
More Dips and Spreads Recipes:
- Sesame Oil Hummus Without Tahini
- Cannellini Bean Dip with Lemon and Parmesan
- Creamy Avocado Dip
- Pesto Guacamole
Best Homemade Hummus
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 cans chick peas drained and rinsed
- ⅓ cup tahini
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil optional
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil plus extra for drizzling if desired
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Paprika or cayenne to sprinkle
- ½ cup water approximately
- Place the garlic and chickpeas in the food processor and pulse a few times. Add the tahini, sesame oil, lemon juice, olive oil, cumin, and salt and pepper. Puree and with the motor running add about 1/3 cup of the water. Allow the mixture to process for about two minutes (see recipe intro), adding more water if you’d like a thinner consistency.
- Transfer to a serving bowl, drizzle with a bit of olive oil if you like, and sprinkle with the paprika or cayenne.
What the Kids Can Do:Drain and rinse the chickpeas, measure the ingredients and dump them into the food processor, and run the machine with supervision.
Fork in the Road:Caramelized Onion Hummus Chop two onions. In a large skillet heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Sauté the onions for at lest 10 minutes, preferably 15 to 20 until they are very nicely browned but not too dark. Add them to the hummus with the other ingredients, or if you like, just sauté one onion in a couple of teaspoons of olive oil, blend up the hummus as directed above, remove half the hummus to a small bowl, then add the caramelized onion to the rest of the hummus in the food processor and blend that for 1 minute and serve in a different small bowl.
The nutrition values are provided as an estimate. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a qualified healthcare professional.
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