Smoothest Hummus Ever.

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Confession: I’ve made this hummus before and didn’t tell you about it.I hogged the recipe, along with the bowl of hummus, and snuck up to my room with cucumbers, carrots, and an unreasonable amount of naan bread, and power watched reruns of “Parks & Rec.” Because it was pouring rain, I was the only person in the house, and it seemed like the only appropriate thing to do. After all, that is the perfect setting to get some photo editing done. And let’s be real: you would’ve done the exact same thing.

I have also made this hummus for social gatherings and didn’t tell you. Mostly because I was rushed and didn’t have my camera nearby, and was apparently too lazy to fetch it from the other room. Probably because my hands were wet with chickpea juice, and the floor in the other room was cold, and I didn’t want to miss my favorite song on the radio, and . . . (you get the idea; just lame excuses).

I have made several hummus recipes before, but I haven’t been “wowwed” by hummus until this recipe came into my life. Deb from Smitten Kitchen is a freakin’ genius. Fact.

Also, she makes you peel your chickpeas. Tedious? Yes. Worth it? Totally.

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Naked chickpeas are coaxed out of their shell by gently rubbing them between your fingers.
It actually isn’t as bad as it sounds. If you have a window to stare out of, and some life-thoughts to keep you company, you’ll be through them in no time.Garlic, tahini, & sea salt are our companions in this adventure.

I’d like to think of hummus as a connecting food.
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What? That’s weird, you say? Let me elaborate . . .
As I was taking pictures of this deliciousness, I was thinking about a few friends that I have who have lived in Israel. I have heard stories about the warm people they met, the culture they absorbed, & the mind-blowing hummus that they indulged in. How amazing is it that there are staples on the other side of the globe that we can recreate here in our country, and in our kitchens? That’s incredible to me that we can bring bits and pieces of another culture into our lives. It makes me think of what we share when we get together as family, friends, or even strangers; we can learn so much from one other if we are open-minded enough to really listen and be present. Even if we can’t travel to the other side of the globe (which believe me, I wouldso love to!), we have people in our midst that we can learn from by simply being around them and investing in them. We can even share what we have, whether it be gifts, talents, resources.
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Smoothest Hummus Ever
Makes 1 3/4 cups hummus1 3/4 cups cooked, drained chickpeas (from a 15-ounce can) or a little shy of 2/3 cup dried chickpeas (for same yield)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda (for dried chickpeas only!)
1/2 cup tahini paste
2 Tablespoons lemon juice, or more to taste
2 small cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1/2-3/4 teaspoon table salt, or more to taste (I would start with 1/2 and add according to taste)
Approximately 1/4 cup water or reserved chickpea cooking water

If using dried chickpeas:
There are multiple methods to cooking them, and you can use whichever is your favorite, or Ottolenghi’s, or mine. Ottolenghi’s is to put the chickpeas in a large bowl and cover them with at least twice their volume of cold water, leaving them to soak overnight. The next day, drain them, and saute them in a medium saucepan with the baking soda (which many find reduces the gassy effects of fresh beans) for about three minutes. Add 3 1/4 cups water and bring it to a boil. Skim any foam that floats to the surface. They’ll need to cook for 20 to 40 minutes, sometimes even longer, depending on freshness, to become tender. When tender, one will break up easily between your thumb and forefinger. My method is similar, but I often put mine in a slow-cooker on high with the baking soda for approximately three hours, so I don’t have to monitor them as much.

Drain the chickpeas (saving the chickpea broth for soups or to thin the hummus, if desired) and cool enough that you can pick one up without burning your fingers.

Whether fresh or canned chickpeas:
Peel your chickpeas. I find this is easiest when you take a chickpea between your thumb and next two fingers, arranging the pointy end in towards your palm, and “pop!” the naked chickpea out. Discard the skin.

In a food processor, blend the chickpeas until powdery clumps form, a full minute, scraping down the sides. Add the tahini, lemon juice, garlic and salt and blend until pureed. With the machine running, drizzle in water or reserved chickpea cooking water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until you get very smooth, light and creamy mixture. I find I need about 4 tablespoons for this volume, but you may need slightly more or less.

Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more salt or lemon if needed. I do recommend that you hold off on adding more garlic just yet, however. I find that it “blooms” as it settles in the fridge overnight, becoming much more garlicky after a rest, so that even if it doesn’t seem like enough at first, it likely will be in the long run.

Transfer the hummus to a bowl and rest it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, longer if you can. To serve, drizzle it with a little olive oil, and sprinkle it with paprika (I also used a bit of chipotle powder, and it rocked!). Serve it with naan, cucumber slices, or carrots.

Source: adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Listening to: Rogue Valley

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