Chickpeas
Sauté, Boil



Hummus

Skip this first paragraph if you have canned beans. Soak 1 cup of the dried chickpeas in room temperature water the day before you want to use them. They will expand in the water over the 24-hours, so use a larger bowl and cover them with excess water. Let them sit on the counter. The next day, pour the beans and that same water into a pot. Add some fresh water. Bring to a boil. Then simmer for about an hour. As they cook, the beans will cause a foam to rise to the surface of the water. Scrape this off as it forms. After an hour, check if the beans are tender. Tender enough that you can easily squish them between your thumb and pointer finger.   

Strain the chickpeas (either from the can or from being boiled) out of their liquid. Reserve the liquid. If from the canned beans, you will add some of it to the hummus. If from the boiling pot, reserve it if you will make a vegetable stock later. Or discard if you won’t. Place the chickpeas in the bowl of the food processor.

The basic ingredients you’ll add are olive oil, lemon juice, tahini, garlic, salt and pepper. Start off with 3/4 cups of olive oil, the juice of one whole lemon, a 1/4 cup of tahini, 1 peeled and roughly chopped garlic clove, 1/2 tsp. of salt, 7 generous turns of a peppermill and a  big pinch of paprika and cumin. Blend continously until everything comes together. You may need to add more of the three liquid ingredients—or some of the canned chickpea liquid—to get the hummus to your desired consistency. Stop blending to taste. The olive oil will give it a smooth, fatty texture, the lemon will thin it out and provide the acid to cut through the richness, while the tahini will elevate the nutty flavor. Add more spices as you wish.

You could also add a boiled, peeled red beet to the mix for a bright pink hummus.

Once you’ve reached the desired taste and consistency you like, scoop the dip out of the food processor and into a bowl for serving. Add a swirl of olive oil on top and a sprinkle of paprika for decoration. Eat immediately or cover and place in fridge for later. Should last in the fridge for a couple of days. 

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