Hummus — a puree of chick peas from the Middle East — is now a staple food for young adults. Yes, you can easily buy packaged hummus in many different flavors, but homemade hummus from dried (not canned) chick peas is infinitely superior. It may sound funny to take a cooking class on how to make hummus, but in two recent classes, the hummus from scratch was the crowd favorite — and definitely the first recipe that the students were going to make.
How to Make Superior Hummus
1. Use dried chick peas, not canned. Reconstitute the dry chick peas in water, then drain, then cover in water, add salt, and cook until tender. The canned chick peas always taste like a can. The taste difference is amazing.
2. Puree the chick peas while they are still warm. If the beans are cold or room temperature, the puree will not be as smooth and delicious. Even if you do use canned beans, heat them in water (and then drain) before pureeing.
3. Flavorings: The best flavoring is roasted garlic. To roast garlic, peel the garlic, place in a ramekin, and submerge in extra-virgin olive oil. Bake at 275 degrees for 30 minutes. Other good flavors for hummus are sun-dried tomatoes, pesto, roasted red bell peppers, or cooked beets (I love the pink color of beet-hummus!)
4. Use plenty of good olive oil. Drizzle in the oil while the machine is running, so that the hummus is emulsified (like a mayonnaise). I use the oil from roasting the garlic, plus more, so that the beans are really, really creamy.
Soak the beans overnight. Drain and cook in fresh water with a tablespoon of salt until tender, about an hour. Drain. While the beans are still warm, place in a food processor or blender. Add the garlic, lemon juice, tahini, peppers, and salt; process until smooth. While the machine is running, add enough oil to make a smooth puree, about a cup. Transfer to bowl; garnish with the parsley. Drizzle more oil over the hummus. Serve with fresh vegetables or pita bread.
Experience really good hummus in one of our upcoming cooking classes:
January 12 “Eat Right Diner”
January 12 “Arabian Nights”
February 16: “Paleo and Gluten-Free Cooking 102″
March 1: “Mission Shrimpossible”