I have a confession to make: I have been making hummus wrong my entire life. Maybe it is more like, I never really knew how to make really good hummus well.
Phewph. There. I said it.
In essence, I was close - chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, salt - but once I realized how much better hummus could be, I began to obsess over the details. As if making up for lost time, I tested the recipe quite a few times, looking for perfect technique and the perfect ratio to achieve the creamiest, dreamiest of all hummuses (is that a word?). All this fussing got me to concluding that: (1) dried chickpeas are way, way better than canned, duh! (2) you need more tahini than you need olive oil, (3) ice cold water is your best friend, (4) good things take time. There are no shortcuts, no hacks, just patience (and a good food processor).
Dried chickpeas are way, way better:
I always used canned chickpeas because I was intimidated by the process and extra time. While you can achieve good hummus with canned chickpeas, being able to control the texture is key for it to be extra creamy and smooth. To get the right texture it is important to first soak the dried beans in water and baking soda, then cook them until they are so tender they start to fall apart. The softer, the creamier.
Tahini over olive oil
Tahini is already a very creamy source of fat. Tahini also adds a lot of flavor. Hummus without olive oil can still be hummus, but you cannot work that logic the other way around.
I cannot explain this one because I am neither a chemist, nor a physicist, but slowly adding cold water into the hummus as it is being puréed works like magic. The tahini just opens up and the chickpeas release, giving in to the blades of the food processor. I guess the best analogy I can think of is the trick bartenders use to open up a very boozy spirit. An ice cube opens up the flavor in a way that makes it more flavorful and smoother. It just works, so take my word for it.
Time makes perfect
In this digital era we are all looking for hacks, but the longer I spend cooking, the more I discover time is the most important of all ingredients. In this case, properly soaking (at least 8 hours) and thoroughly cooking (45-60 minutes) is the only way to transform hard beans into creamy-smooth hummus.
Now that you know how to make the best hummus, serve it on top of toast with a little bit of avocado, and feast.
Dreamy Hummus on Toast
Makes 1 ½ - 2 cups
Cook time 8-10 hours
For the Hummus
- 1 cup dried chickpeas
- 2 tsp. Baking soda
- 2 tsp. Salt, divided
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 tbsp. Tahini
- Juice of half a lemon
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tbsp. Za'atar, plus more for plating
- ¼ - ½ cup ice cold water
- Place the chickpeas in a large pot with enough water to cover by 2-3”.
- Add a teaspoon of the baking soda, and let the chickpeas soak for 8-10 hours.
- After 8-10 hours, drain the chickpeas through a sieve and rinse.
- Add back into the pot with a teaspoon of baking soda and 1 tsp. salt. Add enough water to cover chickpeas, once again, by 2-3”.
- Bring the water to a boil, then reduce to medium heat and cook for 45-60 minutes. Chickpeas are ready when they just start to fall apart. Taste them as you cook.
- Once ready, drain, rinse, and set aside the chickpeas aside. You can do this ahead of time, and refrigerate until ready to prepare hummus.
- Place drained, cooked, chickpeas, 1 teaspoon salt, olive oil, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, and za’atar in a food processor.
- Pulse until smooth.
- Slowly add ¼ - ½ cup ice cold water through the food chute while you continue to pulse the hummus. The amount of water you add depends on the texture you prefer, I err on the ticker side.
- To serve, scoop hummus into a shallow plate. Serve with a good drizzle of olive oil, a pinch of za’atar, and some pistachios. Alternatively store in an air tight container for up to five days.
For the Toast
- 1 slice of Free Bread, or bread of choice
- 1-2 tbsp. hummus
- ¼- ½ avocado
- Handful of pistachios
- Herbs or microgreens of choice
- Tahini to taste, i am using black tahini on this toast
- Toast bread until crispy.
- Scoop a good tablespoon of hummus onto toasted bread.
- Top with sliced avocado, herbs, chopped pistachios, and tahini.
- Devour immediately.