Has someone ever said something about you that made you think, “What the hell?!?!” My soldier did that to me the other day. I stared at him for a good five minutes thinking about whether I should cuss him out, then I remembered, “Jesus is watching.” So I chilled. But I cussed him out in my head, and had to repent later; which made me cuss him out again, which led to a whole lot of internal struggles and praying; it was all over hummus.
Specifically the hummus pictured above. He’s had hummus before. He’s had my hummus before, because I’ve made hummus plenty of times, but this hummus made him turn to me, Jen and Adam (our friends) and say, “Damn, girl! I can’t believe you made this hummus!”
I’ll wait while you get over your shock. You good? Need some water? Okay.
I know, that’s mad disrespectful, right?!?! I looked at him, lip curled up Elvis-style and said,
“What is that supposed to mean?!?”
“Oh, no. I just meant, it’s the best hummus I’ve ever tasted!”
“But you’ve tasted it before. So, was it not the best thing ALL those other times that you said it was the best thing?!?!” At that he began to look to our friends for help. But, they’re smart (or scared) enough to turn away and act as if the art on the wall had suddenly began to speak. No dice, Chino. He was riding solo on this one.
“I’m just overwhelmed by the deliciousness of the food. I’m sorry. I couldn’t think straight for the joy the hummus brought to my heart.”
“Oh,” I said, “I thought it was like that,” not, for a moment, attempting to conceal my attitude. The unmitigated gall! So, I suppose I can safely say that this hummus is so good, it starts fights. Because it’s true. I almost rocked him y’all (not really, but I thought about it really hard).
Consequently, I found myself having to apologize later, because as I began to host more and more parties where I served this hummus, I was met with the same response. The consensus was everyone thought this hummus was the best they’d ever tasted! Who am I argue with them? A girl needs a boost of confidence every once in awhile, after all. I just couldn’t, for the life of me, figure out what was so different.
So, then it dawned on me that, one of the primary differences between this hummus recipe and most of the ones floating around on the internet, is the use of fresh chickpeas. Well, technically not fresh, as these were dried at one point- but, freshly cooked. Call it psycho-babble, but I have found that cooking them produces a smoother, purer-tasting (that’s totally a thing) hummus. There’s a metallic quality to canned garbanzos (chickpeas) that is off-putting to me, personally. When I make them ahead of time and freeze them for later use, I am happier with the overall taste and texture. I won’t judge at all if you decide to use canned garbanzos instead.
Another key for my soopah-smoove hummus is: I peel my chickpeas. It’s not a requirement, but it’s something I like to do because the weird, papery skins freak me out a little bit, and it also cuts down on the gritty texture of the final product. There’s also a lot of scraping and re-pulsing in the instructions. I’m not trying to kill you with work, I’m just trying to make sure you get the smoothest hummus evah!
The inclusion of my Middle Eastern Spice Blend (or MESB-because I’m an Army wife), which makes a bold appearance in this recipe, may also be a reason it’s unique! If you don’t have any on hand (make some or), go ahead and use an equal measurement of ground cumin instead.
Alter the flavors of your hummus by mixing in a variety of different spices and herbs. For example: substituting black beans and taco seasoning for the chickpeas and MESB will give you a Mexican-ish hummus.
Ever had someone insult you with a compliment? Share it with me below!
Middle Eastern Hummus Recipe
Yield 12 servings
A creamy, nutty dip made of cooked chickpeas, tahini and garlic. Perfect for parties, potlucks or eating on a Tuesday night.
1lb cooked chickpeas or 15 oz can chickpeas, drained and peeled
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup tahini
2 cloves garlic, smashed
3 tbsp EVOO
1 tsp Middle Eastern Spice Blend (link in post)
salt to taste
2-3 tbsp water
paprika to garnish
1 tbsp chopped cilantro to garnish
In your food processor, pulse together the chickpeas until smooth. Scrape down your bowl and blade.
Add the lemon juice and tahini and pulse for 3 minutes. Scrape down the bowl and blade and pulse for an additional 2 minutes.
Add the garlic, olive oil, spice blend and 1 tsp of salt to the mix and pulse for 3 minutes. Scrape down the bowl and blade and blend for an additional 3 minutes.
Spoon onto a serving dish and, using the back of a large spoon, create a "moat" along the inside of your pile of hummus (about an inch from the outside rim).
Drizzle olive oil around the surface of the hummus and sprinkle with paprika. Garnish with cilantro leaves.
Serve with pita bread or crudite of vegetables and enjoy!
30 minute rest time allows the flavors to marry.
Cuisine Middle Eastern/Mediterranean