I first started eating hummus in college while I was trying to tighten up my diet. Though, I had no real concept of the stuff other than it was the dip that tricked me into eating those overly dense “baby” carrots. Back then, I couldn’t have told you that hummus came from chickpeas. Or was it garbanzo beans? No, hominy. Hummus came from hominy. Those cans all sat side-by-side at Walmart, the only place to shop in my small college town, so it was no wonder I was confused.
Organic didn’t exist in my world yet. Neither did dried beans. And if I had known about soaking dried beans, I probably would have bought a bag of corn nuts to soak. I guess I would have had hominy then.
It was at that same Walmart, in that same small town, that someone stopped me to ask my major. I must have been wearing a school t-shirt. “Graphic design,” I told him. “Oh, graphics design! You must draw graphs on the computer,” he said. I laughed to myself at the time. But after getting my first design job, he wasn’t so far off. Infographics were the hot new thing.
I’ve since learned that hummus comes from the interchangeable garbanzo bean/chickpea. And that hominy comes from soaked corn kernels. (Through that process, they also make cornmeal, masa, grits, etc.) I’ve also learned that carrots are very palatable raw when you buy them whole, peel them, and cut them into sticks. Baby carrots give all carrots a bad rap. I’ve learned that I’ll never be the person to think ahead and soak dried beans like the experts. My brain doesn’t work that way. And finally, I’ve learned that spending time peeling all the shells off chickpeas is not the only way to produce a creamy, smooth hummus. Water and a good blender does the trick. Even if said blender looks like it’s straight out of the 80s. (Kev got it in 2007, so close.)
This hummus is the thing I make when I’m running out the door to a potluck or a dinner with friends. Because, as usual, I’ve forgotten to make anything in advance and can’t bring myself to pick something up from the store. I live life in a self-induced predicament that only a can of beans, quick roasted garlic, tahini from the fridge, and a good blender can fix. And it does, so I keep making it.
- Quick-Roasted Garlic
- 1 large clove of garlic, skin intact
- 2-3 tbsp. water
- 1 15 oz. can of chickpeas/garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
- 1/4-1/2 c. warm water
- 1/4 c. tahini
- 3 tbsp. lemon juice
- 1 tsp. flaky kosher salt
- olive oil, for serving
- We'll start by quick-roasting a clove of garlic. If you like the zingy flavor of raw garlic, skip this step. I like it either way, but Kev likes it less zingy. I quick roast garlic the same way I reheat pizza, just at a lower heat. In a cast iron pan or small skillet, turn heat to medium. Once the pan is hot, add the garlic with the skin still intact and toast all sides, about 30 seconds each or until the skin is lightly browned. Pour in water, 2 tablespoons or so, and cover. Turn off heat and allow garlic to steam. Water will dissolve. Garlic is ready once it's soft to the touch, about 3 minutes. If garlic is still hard, return to the heat, add another tablespoon of water, cover and repeat.
- While the garlic cooks, add the beans, 1/4 cup of water, tahini, lemon juice, and kosher salt into a high-powered blender or food processor. Add in the peeled garlic once it's ready. Begin blending on low to incorporate everything. Turn the speed up to medium-high, blending until the mixture stops. Turn off the machine and scrape down the sides. Add in half of the remaining water (about 2 tablespoons). Blend again on medium-high for about 3 minutes until the mixture is smooth and pale in color. The hummus will be thicker than a smoothie but will still blend easily. If the mixture stops moving (which is likely), stop the blender and break the air bubble. If the hummus is still too thick to blend easily, add in the rest of the water (the final 2 tablespoons) and blend. Hummus will thicken a bit as it sets.
- To serve, remove from blender into a plate or a bowl. Using the back of a spoon, pull river beds into the hummus. Repeat a couple time to make a bulls-eye pattern. Pour in good quality olive oil to the beds. Sprinkle with herbs or spices to garnish.
- To store, keep covered in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
• I use Eastwind Tahini. I buy both of these products from my local Co-op. They vet their products, so I don't have to. This tahini is found in the nut butter aisle. I like to buy the larger jar, so I always have it on hand (because we know how well I plan ahead). Store in the fridge to prolong the life.