Licking the bowl clean

When it came to hummus, I never really gave it much thought.  To be honest, I thought they all sort of tasted the same.  We go through a lot of hummus in our house, so I somehow seem to have tried almost every brand at our local grocery store.  They are all fine, but nothing to write home about.

Until recently, when my “hummus bar” was dramatically raised, thanks to a new vegan market near our house called Organika.  Everything they make is delicious, but their hummus is what I dream about.   Crazy, I know, right?  I mean it’s essentially just beans and olive oil, but I’m telling you it’s that good (if you live near me and have not been, go, now).

So now that I know what hummus is supposed to taste like, I’ve made it my personal mission these last few months to try and replicate this dreamy delicacy.  It took me a few tries, but I think I have come up with something equally delicious as my friends down the street.  Even JonPaul, who is not normally a hummus eater, was caught licking the bowl.

Since I had to try this recipe a few different times, there were a few things I learned along the way.

First, you have to start with dried beans.  Sorry.  I know it’s an extra step, but it really makes a difference.  I started with a pound of dried beans, soaked them overnight and then cooked them for about an hour.  Not a ton of extra work, but it made a big difference.   (And I should also note that I stopped cooking them when they were still just a little “firm”.  Don’t let them get “mushy”.  They don’t blend up as nicely.)

Second, garlic, garlic and when in doubt, more garlic.  I ended up using a whole head of garlic. It sounds like a lot, but I promise those beans need it.  They will soak that garlic love right up, and be begging for more – so just go ahead and add a few extra cloves when in doubt.  You won’t regret it.

And finally, blend, blend and more blending.  I started off using my food processor.  I let it pulse, and all come together in a nice “paste”.  But to get that really smooth, light texture, I had to change it over to my Vitamix (or other high speed blender).   The second “blending” made all the difference.  It takes the hummus from dense and heavy to light and airy.   It’s worth the extra step.

If you’ve never made your own hummus, you’ll be shocked how different it tastes.  With just a few simple ingredients, you have a healthy and super delicious treat.  Enjoy!

Lemon garlic hummus
 
Prep time
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Author:
Serves: 4 cups of hummus
Ingredients
  • 1 pound of dried garbanzo beans, soaked overnight and cooked according to package.
  • ¼ cup of tahini
  • ½ cup of good quality olive oil
  • ¾ cup of water
  • 1 head of garlic
  • the zest and juice of one lemon
  • ½ tsp. of cayenne pepper
  • salt/pepper to taste
  • Parsley, red pepper flakes and olive oil for garnish
Instructions
  1. In a food processor fitted with the blade attachment, add cooked beans, tahini, cloves of garlic, lemon zest/juice, cayenne pepper, ¼ cup of olive oil, ½ cup of water, and salt/pepper.
  2. Working slowly, begin to pulse the mixture. Once the beans begin to come together, run the food processor for one minute. You may need to add in more olive oil/water. (Add only a few tablespoons at a time.)
  3. Once the beans have formed a paste, transfer to a high speed blender. With the blender running on low speed, carefully add in the remaining ¼ cup of olive oil and ¼ cup of water. Depending on your consistency preference add more/less water/olive oil). Continue to blend for one minute until the hummus is light and airy.
  4. Transfer to a serving dish and place in the fridge for 30 minutes to cool (the high-speed blender can "warm up" the hummus, so you want to make sure to cool it back down quickly).
  5. When ready to serve sprinkle with chopped parsley, red pepper flakes and a drizzle of olive oil. Serve with your favorite pita bread or vegetable and enjoy!

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