Perfect Hummus

Let's start off with hello! And happy new year! Man, where have I been? I haven't written for your smiling faces in nearly 3 weeks! What have I been up to? Oh, just total world domination. No big deal.

I spent some time at the beach. Did way too much driving. Gave my dog a horrible haircut. Ate too many crab cakes and updated my home page (don't you like my new badge for Abe's Market? Now you just click and shop our store!)

But I'm back now. Back for you, baby. Back to give you what you want and need...like hummus. Duh.

You need hummus. But more than that, you need good hummus. Because there is a lot of really bad hummus out there. There are hummus that taste like rubber, or have the consistency of pudding. Hummus with a fake garlic flavor and ones with devilishly red "bell pepper" pieces that are just wrong, wrong, wrong.

I say stop playing the store-bought hummus game. Be good to yourself. I mean, it's January and that's what this month is all about, right?

Make your hummus from scratch. Every time. And stop whining. It's worth it.

Official recipe after the jump. Awesomely necessary perfect hummus tips here:

  1. Buy good quality canned garbanzo beans (chickpeas) if using canned. You want them plump, all intact and the water in the can to be as clear as possible. Trader Joe's Organic Garbanzo Beans is a good choice.
  2. Always reserve the liquid you drain from your can of garbanzos. This liquid is perfect for thinning out your hummus if it gets too thick during blending. If you don't use it in the hummus, add it to a pot of stew as an easy, basically tasteless thickener (i.e. useful in anything you're cooking up!)
  3. Microwave garbanzos for 30 seconds before blending. This breaks down the starches just enough to make your hummus as smooth as possible.
  4. Always have more garlic and more lemon on hand than you think you'll need. Hummus doesn't develop its full flavor immediately, rather it needs a few hours in the fridge to taste really great. An extra squirt of lemon or clove of garlic on the front end can make the final product much better. Stronger flavors on the front end means it will be brighter on the back end.
  5. Use tahini. Don't skip this. It's what makes hummus, hummus.
  6. Use spices. Like Za'atar. It's amazing. Really. (also spelled 'zatar')

Full recipe after the jump...Perfect Hummus

Makes about 2 cups of dip

  • 1 can of garbanzo beans (15 oz), liquid from can reserved
  • 1/4 - 1/3 cup tahini
  • 2 - 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 - 2 lemons, juiced
  • 1 - 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Za'atar spice

The ingredients above are provided with ranges because the consistency and flavor of your hummus is really all about personal preference. Add less or more of each noted ingredient to achieve the product you're looking for.

Drain garbanzo beans, reserving liquid in a separate bowl. Microwave beans for 30 seconds until just barely warm. This breaks down some of the starch in the beans, making them blend more easily.

Add garbanzos, tahini, lemon juice, olive oil and garlic to a blender or cuisinart. Blend by pulsing for 10 seconds. Use a clean spatula or spoon to push down ingredients from side of glass or bowl. Based on how much liquid was left on the beans, or how much tahini and lemon you used, now is a good time to add some of the reserved bean liquid. Add about a tablespoon at a time in order to achieve your preferred consistency. Continue pulsing to blend.

Add more bean liquid until you've achieved the consistency you want. Season with salt, pepper and za'atar and blend for another 10 seconds. Taste and then remove to a serving bowl.

Best if refrigerated for an hour or two.

Keep, covered, in the fridge for about a week. Liquid will form on the top of the hummus while refrigerated. This is natural. Just use a spoon to reincorporate the liquid.

To serve, drizzle with olive oil and a dash more za'atar spice.