Classic Hummus

I've been wanting to do a post on hummus for a long time now, but whenever I would make it I never ended up taking any pictures. Well, recently I decided that enough was enough, it was time for hummus pics. So here you are, my favorite, go-to hummus recipe from my favorite cookbook author and chef, Yotam Ottolenghi. To be honest, this is the only hummus recipe I've ever made, but I love it so much that I've never felt the need to search for another. It turns out super creamy, lemony hummus, full of garlic and tahini.

Homemade hummus is so incredibly good, and really quite easy. You will never want to go back to the watery, flavorless store-bought hummus again once you've tried making it yourself (even though, if in a pinch, the store-bought version makes an appearance, don't worry, I understand, sometimes convenience trumps all!). But seriously, this stuff is so good. If you've never tried making hummus before you really should give it a shot. Pull out that food processor and grab a bag of dried chickpeas and get going!

This recipe comes from Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi which I've talked about before, so I won't wax poetic about this wonderful book again. The original recipe makes a massive batch of hummus, way more than I ever need for myself, so I usually halve it. You'll see the halved recipe below, so go ahead and double it if you need a big batch, just be sure you're food processor is big enough. As written below, the recipe makes approximately 2 1/4 - 2 1/2 cups of hummus in the end, so still a nice amount of hummus. 

Making hummus is really a simple process. You do have to think ahead in order to have time to soak and cook the chickpeas, but once that is done, the food processor takes care of all the hard work. And while I know you can make hummus with canned chickpeas, I highly recommend dried. They taste so much better, are not really any more work, and are cheaper, win-win! 

 
 
 
 

Classic Hummus
Adapted from Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi
Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (125 grams) dried chickpeas
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 1/4 cups water
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon (135 grams) tahini
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (do not use bottled lemon juice)
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons ice-cold water
  • salt

Directions
The night before making the hummus, put the chickpeas in a medium-to-large saucepan and cover them with cold water at least twice their volume. Leave to soak overnight.

The next day, drain the chickpeas and return to the saucepan. Place the saucepan over high heat and add the baking soda. Cook for about 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the water and bring to a boil. Cook, scimming off any foam and any skins that float to the surface. The chickpeas will need to cook between 20 and 40 minutes, depending on how fresh they are, sometimes even longer. Once done, they should be very tender, breaking up easily when pressed between your thumb and finger, almost but not quite mushy. 

Drain the chickpeas. You should have roughly 1 3/4 cup (300 grams) now. Place the chickpeas in a food processor and process until you get a stiff paste. Then, with the machine still running, add the tahini, lemon juice, garlic and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Finally, slowly drizzle in the iced water and allow it to mix for about 5 minutes, until you get a very smooth and creamy paste. 

Transfer hummus (which will be quite warm at this point) to a bowl, cover the surface with plastic wrap, and let it rest for at least 30 minutes. If not using right away, refrigerate until needed. Make sure to take it out of the fridge at least 30 minutes before serving. 

Spicy Quinoa and Hummus Patties with Roasted Red Pepper

Last week when I was thinking about what to make for dinner my mind kept drifting towards a burger. Unfortunately I didn't have any ground meat at home, and I didn't feel like going to the store. However, as I kept thinking I realized I had all the ingredients to make a nice meatless burger; I had cooked quinoa in the fridge, some leftover roasted red pepper, and homemade hummus. I decided to just go for it and make up my own recipe with what I had on hand. The results were fantastic! A soft and tender patty filled with veggies, and given a flavor boost with some fragrant spices. Healthy, hearty and delicious. Although a veggie patty will never be able to fully replace a true burger, this recipe holds it's own as a  delicious and healthy alternative dinner. 

I wasn't sure exactly what ratios I should use for my grain vs hummus vs quinoa, but in the end I really liked the results so I was very pleased. I don't eat tons of veggie burgers, so I don't know what most people are looking for in texture and flavor, but I do know I really loved these so I guess I don't care what other people like! These were soft yet not too delicate and held together as I ate my sandwich. I was worried they might just fall apart as I know veggie burgers sometimes can, but no problem with these. This is definitely a recipe that I will make again, adjusting the flavorings and add ins to fit whatever I have on hand. 

Spicy Quinoa and Hummus Patties with Roasted Red Pepper 

I

ngredients

  • 1/4 cup hummus (approximately 60 grams of my homemade hummus)
  • 40 grams (1/2 cup) oats
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 green onion
  • 1/4 of a roasted red pepper
  • Handful cilantro
  • 100 grams cooked quinoa
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil

Directions

Place hummus, oats and garlic clove in the bowl of a food processor and process until well combined and has formed a thick paste. Add the green onion, red pepper, and cilantro and pulse a few times until combined but still somewhat chunky.

Transfer mixture to a mixing bowl and add the quinoa, salt, cumin, cayenne and olive oil. Mix to combine.

Shape mixture into 2-4 patties, depending on your preference. Place in the fridge for a few minutes to firm up a bit.

Preheat grill or grill pan until nice and hot. When ready, transfer patties to grill and cook until nice and hot all the way through, flipping halfway through.

Serve on a bun with your favorite toppings, or top off a salad with this hearty patty in place of your chicken or steak.

Baked Pita Chips

A few weeks ago I shared my favorite recipe for pita bread. It really is delicious stuff, perfect for filling with just about anything your heart may desire, or just eating straight up, fresh from the oven, either on its own or dipped in some homemade hummus or any other favorite dip of yours. Even though I love eating it fresh in sandwich form, I recently decided to try my hand at some homemade pita chips. I have to admit that I love Stacy's Pita Chips (so addicting!), so I wanted to see if I could make something similar at home. The answer is yes, I could, and so can you. 

It's a pretty easy thing to do, all you need is a couple of pieces of pita bread and some time. I took a few of my homemade pita, cut them into wedges, brushed with oil, sprinkled with salt and popped them in the oven. You're really just drying them out completely until they are crisp and crunchy, basically like making homemade croutons. And the options are endless, you can top them with pretty much any flavors you want; herbs, spices, cinnamon-sugar, whatever you feel like. It's totally worth trying this out, the perfect homemade snack. 

I feel kind of bad because I can't remember exactly how I baked these chips. What I do know is I hate when anything I bake or dry out in the oven takes on that (what I call) "dark" flavor. It's not burned at all, but it's heading in that direction. I like my stuff light in color and flavor. So, I usually use a low oven temperature and a lot of time. I'll probably turn my oven to 278 or 300 degrees and make sure I'm checking it every 10 to 15 minutes, to make sure it's not getting too dark. I want my pita to be completely dried through and lightly golden, but not dark. If the temperature is too high they start browning before they are dried through, and that just doesn't work. It can take some finagling, and sometimes a couple tries, before I get it completely right, but when I do it is totally worth it! So give it a try, if it doesn't turn out exactly how you were hoping don't give up, it's okay, just try it again. You don't want to know how many times I've forced myself to snack on a plate of overcooked baked chips!

Baked Pita Chips

Ingredients

  • A couple pieces of pita bread (I used homemade)
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt

Directions

Start by slicing each pita into 6-8 wedges. Arrange on a baking sheet without overlapping them too much, you want the air to be able to circulate between them all. Brush both sides generously with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Pop them into a 275-300 degree oven (see discussion above) and bake, checking every 10-15 minutes until completely dried through and just beginning to brown. If they start browning too quickly, turn the oven temperature down by about 25 degrees and keep going, checking them a little more frequently to make sure they aren't getting to brown. 

When completely dried out, remove from oven and let cool completely before storing in an airtight container.