Tahini blends with chickpeas, lemon, olive oil, and garlic to become the well-known Middle Eastern dip and spread known as hummus. Homemade hummus is simple to make, and it tastes much better than the mediocre and overpriced stuff sold in supermarkets. To avoid the most common pitfall of homemade hummus— way too much raw garlic—I like to gently cook the garlic in the olive oil first so it mellows and infuses the oil. Cumin and a touch of soy sauce give the hummus a savory edge. Serve with seedless cucumber rounds or pita chips or triangles for dipping.
Combine the 1/3 cup oil with the garlic and cumin in a small saucepan. Set over medium-low heat and cook until the garlic softens, about 3 minutes from when you can hear the garlic bubbling quickly. Don’t let the garlic brown. Take the pan off the heat and let cool completely.
Put the chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, soy sauce, and salt in a food processor. Use a fork to fish the softened garlic out of the oil and transfer it to the processor (reserve the oil). Turn the machine on, let it run for about 20 seconds, and then start slowly pouring the cumin oil through the machine’s feed tube. Be sure to scrape the pan with a rubber spatula to get all of the cumin and oil. Pour 1/4 cup cool water down the tube. Stop the machine, scrape the sides of the bowl, and continue processing until the hummus is creamy and almost smooth. Season to taste with more salt and lemon juice, if you like. For best results, let the hummus sit at room temperature for an hour or two before serving so the flavors can meld. Or better yet, make it a day ahead, refrigerate it and return it to room temperature and adjust the seasonings before serving. To serve, spread hummus in a shallow dish and drizzle with the remaining 1 Tbs. oil.
Make Ahead Tips
The hummus will keep for about a week in the refrigerator.
nutrition information (per serving):
per 1/4 cup serving, Calories
10, Fat Calories
90, Saturated Fat
4, Monounsaturated Fat
18, Polyunsaturated Fat
Photo: Scott Phillips