Hummus is one of my favorite foods. I could eat troughsful of it, so long as it’s good hummus. For me, the stuff you can buy at the grocery store is never quite right. It’s stiff, pasty, and just not quite right. Plus it can be pretty expensive! Fortunately, hummus is also dead simple to make.
I’ve had a lot of practice. I used to get home from cooking all day in a restaurant and throw some together because I was starving but also exhausted but also didn’t want to eat something that wasn’t delicious. This smooth, easy hummus recipe fits the bill perfectly. If you’ve never had hummus that didn’t come from the grocery store, give this a try!
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Notes on Tahini
It’s worth noting that tahini is both nutty and slightly bitter. It also plays a big role in making smooth (smooooooth) hummus. I picked up the idea to whip the tahini first from this Inspired Taste hummus recipe. They noted that this results in a much silkier, smoother hummus, and they’re right. I totally no longer peel chickpeas, which is what makes this quick and easy instead of kind of a pain in the tuchus. They whip the tahini alone, while I’ve found I can add lemon juice and salt at the same time and still have a result I like. Why not play with both methods and see which you prefer?
Anyway, you can go up or down on the tahini. A quarter cup of tahini per can of chickpeas is just right for me; it’s harmonious and smooth enough without being overwhelmingly bitter. Sesame seeds are odd little things. I use the Soom tahini (affiliate link) after reading a recommendation for it, which I could’ve sworn came from Yottam Ottolenghi. I’d basically walk off a cliff if an Ottolenghi cookbook instructed me to do so – he’s a genius – but anyway, it doesn’t seem to have been his recommendation and now I can’t remember whose it actually was. The brand you choose will play a big role in the final flavor of your hummus, and this has become my favorite. They use Ethiopian sesame seeds, apparently; the origin and roast matter, like coffee.
Obviously you can pick up Soom from Amazon, or Nuts.com; I’ve never seen it in a local store, though. We also have some great Middle Eastern markets in Pittsburgh, and those are good, too – you can always ask the staff which brands they prefer.
About those chickpeas…
And yes, I still use canned chickpeas most of the time. We have a backlog of canned chickpeas thanks to WIC, for whose help I am eternally grateful. You can make your own from dried beans, but chickpeas are just fractionally trickier to cook than other beans, I think. I’m working on perfecting them in the Instant Pot, and I’ll share that method once I’ve got it nailed down.
Anyway, canned are fine, and they’re still fairly inexpensive, especially compared to buying premade hummus. Just be sure to rinse them well. There’s no need to remove the skins, unless you have kids with great fine motor skills who really need an activity to kill ten minutes or so. Sometimes I enjoy slipping the skins off, myself, but usually I’d rather just get to the hummus part. And here we are.
This is a super smooth hummus with serious tahini flavor. It comes together in under ten minutes and you'll never buy deli-case hummus again! Unless you have an amazing Middle Eastern deli.
- 1/4 cup tahini Soom is amazing, if you can find it
- juice of 1 large lemon
- 1-1/2 tsp fine sea salt
- 3 cloves garlic peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 can chickpeas rinsed and drained
- 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil plus extra for drizzling
- water, to achieve desired texture
- paprika, za'atar, chopped parsley, or other garnish optional
Place the tahini, lemon juice, and sea salt in the bowl of a food processor. Turn it on and let it run for about a minute (really, a full minute). The tahini should change texture and become smooth, light, and a bit airy. This helps result in a super-smooth hummus at the end!
Add the garlic and process for 30 seconds or so.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then add half the chickpeas and the 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Process for 1 minute, again using the full amount of time. Scrape down the bowl again, add the remaining chickpeas, and begin to process.
If the hummus looks too thick and you like thinner hummus, add water. I usually add about 2 tablespoons of water total, sometimes 3, depending on my mood. Continue to process for 2 minutes total (after you've added the last chickpeas).
Taste the hummus and adjust seasoning as needed. This is the right amount of salt, lemon, garlic, and tahini for me. Check out the post above for notes on tahini!
Serve with extra-virgin olive oil drizzled on top, with paprika, za'atar, chopped parsley, or other garnish. I'm still learning to make pita, so I use store-bought. I know. I know.
I like to use lots of olive oil because I have skinny kids who could use the extra good fats. You can use water for all the olive oil in the recipe proper, but the drizzle at serving time really makes it so much nicer, so try to keep that bit.