2018 has been the summer of cheeseboard dinners in our house and I love it. As someone who loves grazing, small snacks, and variety, a good appetizer spread is one of my favorite ways to have a meal. Each time the selection is slightly different, and it has been fun to experiment with different combinations, dippers, cheeses, and dips. An addition I have loved recently is smooth, warm, delicious homemade hummus.
One of my favorite restaurants in town is an authentic Mediterranean restaurant that has a giant selection of amazing food. It is one of those places that always gives you a ton of food, and warm pita on the side. One of my go-to sides and absolute favorite things to get there is the hummus. It is fresh, smooth, flavorful, and better than any hummus you can get at the grocery store. After a few meals at their restaurant, and a few containers of average grocery store hummus, I was determined to make fresh, homemade hummus of my own for our next appetizer dinner. Homemade hummus takes some planning, but the end result is so worth it.
Sometimes making something that you typically buy from the store is so satisfying and rewarding. Warm, smooth hummus drizzled with tahini, pools of olive oil, and a sprinkle of spices is so satisfying and so much better than the plastic tub from the grocery store. I love how versatile it is, and how much flavor it has. You can adjust the thickness of the chickpea mixture to your liking, and add the amount of nutty tahini to your taste. Pair it with fresh summer veggies, crackers, pita chips, pretzel chips, and warm naan and pita bread for a delicious, easy addition to your summer appetizer night.
1 cup dried chickpeas
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup tahini (if you are a tahini lover you can add more to taste)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 cloves of garlic
½ teaspoon cumin
1 ½ teaspoons sea salt
olive oil for topping
Place the dried chickpeas in a large bowl and cover with at least 6 cups of cool water. Leave the bowl on the counter for at least 12 hours, or overnight.
Drain the soaked chickpeas and pour them into a large pot. Add 8-10 cups of water to the pot. There should be a few inches of water above the chickpeas. Add the baking soda to the water and chickpeas and, over high heat, bring the water to a boil. As the pot boils, foam will rise to the top. Skim off the foam as it rises. Boil for 2 minutes, skimming the foam the whole time. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 30-45 minutes. You should be able to squish the chickpeas between your fingers or with a fork when they are done. Remove them from the heat and let cool to room temperature.
Drain the chickpeas over a bowl, saving the water from the pot. Place the drained chickpeas in the bowl of a food processor and blend until the mixture is smooth. Add the tahini, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, and sea salt and blend again for at least one minute. At this point, if your hummus is too thick, stream in some of the cooking water. You don’t need to add any water if you like the consistency and thickness as it is. Taste and add more salt, lemon juice, cumin, and tahini as you like. Serve in a bowl with a drizzle of olive oil and a shake of cumin or za’atar.