My First Batch Of Hummus

I hate chickpeas -- garbanzo beans, whatever you want to call them. I absolutely despise them. They are coarse and dry, simply unpleasant.

Back when I was in high school, one of my friends always made herself a salad rampant with chickpeas for lunch. She would take one from her plate and position it on my tray to stare at me and torment me. Yes, I hate them that much.

But I LOVE hummus. And the main ingredient in hummus is those horrid, little beans. So how does that work? Well, hummus is creamy. The dry, grainy chickpeas get processed with olive oil and tahini, resulting in a smooth, creamy mixture.

If you're a chickpea hater too, I encourage you to try them in other forms, like hummus or falafel (yum). In their natural state, they're not much to look at or savor, but with a little work, they can be quite stunning.

I found this recipe in Entertaining from Cook's Illustrated. As with all Cook's Illustrated recipes, you can't get this one online unless you subscribe to the site, so go get the summer of issue of Entertaining, or sign up for a trial membership for access to this hummus recipe. It's flavorful and has the perfect texture.

I'm very picky about hummus. My favorite store-bought kind is Sabra because of its velvety texture. It's incredibly creamy and never chalky or pasty, like some others I've tried. I enjoy it whether plain, with roasted red peppers, or with roasted garlic. Every flavor I've tried has been so fulfilling. This version, which Cook's Illustrated calls Restaurant-Style Hummus, comes out similar to Sabra's.

You don't need many ingredients. The most difficult thing to find was tahini paste -- only because I've never used it before. Luckily, Cook's Illustrated recommended a brand and included a picture, so I knew just what to look for. Then it's just chickpeas, lemons, garlic, oil, and spices.

I think hummus is best served with Stacy's chips, pita bread, or peppers, and this time I was in the mood for chips.

hummus ingredients
Making my way through this recipe, I learned that hummus is incredibly easy to make. Chickpeas, garlic, and spices go for a spin in the food processor.

chickpeas in food processor
Then let the lemon juice and oil and tahini drip in while the processor is running. I love the tube on my food processor designed for this, but sometimes I feel like the liquids drip in too slowly. This was one of those times, so I had to tip it over and pour slowly instead. Processed for a bit longer, the whole mixture ended up nice and creamy.

hummus in food processor
After letting the flavors meld for a bit, I drizzled some oil over the hummus and then tore open a bag of chips and tested it out. It wasn't too bad for a first batch. I thought it was tasty, overall, but I'm looking forward to enhancing the flavor. I'll be trying the lemon-artichoke and roasted red pepper hummus recipes next. Once you get the basic recipe down, I'm sure there are lots of ways to play around with it.


Do you have any fabulous chickpea recipes like hummus to recommend -- ones that even I might like?