I’ve been craving hummus since we returned from our recent trip to Turkey. Before we set off for a second visit to Istanbul I had created a list of foods that I really wanted to eat while I was there. Hummus was at the top of the list but for some reason I never managed to eat any. So upon returning home I set out to find both dried garbanzo beans and tahini, two items I could never manage to locate while we were in Albania but are readily available in Belgium.
I always use dried garbanzo beans; I think they have a better flavor and texture than their canned counterparts. If you decide to go this route be sure to soak the beans overnight before cooking them. If dried beans aren’t available or you are pressed for time, canned ones will work as well. Just be sure to rinse them before using and adjust the salt in the recipe accordingly. I also love to use roasted garlic instead of fresh raw cloves. The roasting mellows the pungency of the garlic and gives the hummus a mild smokey flavor.
Now if you do how to eat hummus, the answer is any way you want. It is great as a dip for crudite or crackers and I love to spread on a whole grain wrap or flatbread, top it with fresh vegetables (cucumbers, tomatoes, shredded carrots and sprouts are particularly good) and roll it up and eat it as a sandwich. The wrap will keep well making it a perfect on the go lunch item. Of course, I’ve also been known to eat hummus by the spoonful right out of the container. Yes, I like it that much.
ROASTED GARLIC HUMMUS
3 cups cooked garbanzo beans
1 large bulb garlic
7 tablespoons olive oil, divided
6 tablespoons tahini
Juice of 2 lemons
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
To cook the garbanzo beans:
- Pick over the dried beans and place them in a large stock pot and fill the pot with water. The beans will expand as they soak so make sure there is room in the pot. Allow the beans to sit overnight.
- The next day, drain the beans and cover them with fresh water. Place the pot over high heat and bring to a boil. Cover the pot, reduce the heat to low and to simmer until tender, 60-90 minutes. occasionally skim off any scum that forms at the surface of the water.
- Remove the beans from the heat, drain, and set aside to allow to cool until ready to use.
To roast the garlic:
- Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Place a piece of aluminum foil on a rimmed baking sheet.
- Slice off the top 1/4 inch of the garlic bulb. Place in the center of the foil and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil.
- Wrap the garlic completely in the foil and place in the oven, baking for 30 to 35 minutes or until the garlic is soft and fragrant.
- Allow the garlic to cool slightly before proceeding.
To make the hummus:
- Place the garbanzo beans in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade.
- Squeeze the roasted garlic flesh out of each clove and add them to the food processor.
- Add the tahini, lemon juice, remaining olive oil, salt and cumin.
- Process until the ingredients are well blended and form a thick paste. You may need to add additional olive oil, one tablespoon at a time, until the hummus has reached a consistency you like.
- Refrigerate the hummus in a tightly sealed container until ready to use.