So you know those cookbooks that everyone seems to go crazy ga-ga over all of a sudden? Enter Jerusalem, the 5-star cookbook released October of last year by Yotam Ottolenghi that I couldn’t seem to understand what the big deal was all about. You’ve probably heard of it too, right? (Also the author of Plenty, although I’m not really intrigued by that one for some reason) I figured I’d give it a sample by putting a hold on it at the local library, and the 3 month wait period was well worth holding out for.
Upon opening the first few pages, this particular recipe for “Basic Hummus” stood out to me with outstanding, earthy and mouth-watering food photography. I knew immediately that this was the first recipe I was going to attempt. Flipping through the rest of the book, I kept exclaiming out loud “Oh my gosh! I have to make this!” (roasted sweet potatoes with fresh figs, fattoush, shakshuka, and butternut squash tahini spread). All of the recipes seem very straight-forward and “user friendly” to make. Simple ingredients that all seem to pair together very nicely, in the right ratios and combinations. Basically, I decided that I’m going to go ahead and purchase this book when my next paycheck comes round.
If you like smooth, creamy and flavorful hummus (like Sabra, for example), and aren’t afraid of a bit of tahini and garlic, then this is the perfect hummus recipe for you. I can guarantee it. This was my first attempt at making it from scratch by soaking the beans overnight, boiling them up, all that good stuff, and I can see the difference. It’s not as chunky and dry when made from the can. I’d highly recommend this method. It takes a teensy bit of effort, but produces worthy results (and a copious amount, as well!). It should stay well in an air-tight container in the fridge for at least 5-7 days (although it probably won’t last that long!).
The Best Smooth & Basic Hummus
From the Jerusalem Cookbook
Makes about 4-6 cups of hummus
- 1 1/4 cups dried chickpeas
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 6 1/2 cups water
- 1 cup plus 2 tbsp tahini paste
- 4 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 6 1/2 tbsp ice-cold water
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
For the additional topping (optional): add olive oil, lemon juice, freshly chopped Italian parsley, freshly chopped garlic, toasted pine nuts, and/or a Mediterranean blend you can buy premade at an olive bar (I used roasted tomatoes, roasted garlic, green olives and feta in one… it was awesome!)
- The night before, soak the chickpeas in a large bowl and cover them with enough cold water (at least twice their volume). Leave to soak till the next day.
- The next day, drain the chickpeas. In a medium saucepan over high heat, add the drained chickpeas and baking soda. Cook for about 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the water and bring to a boil. Cook, skimming off any foam or skins that float to the surface (it’s ok if you don’t remove all the skins–I pureed them with some skins on and it still turned out creamy). The chickpeas will need to cook at least 20-40 minutes, depending on the type and freshness, sometimes even longer. Once done, they should be very tender, breaking up easily when pressed between your fingers, almost but not quite mushy.
- Drain the chickpeas. Place them in a food processor (at least 7 cup) and process until you get a stiff paste. With the machine still running, add the tahini, lemon juice, garlic and salt. Slowly drizzle in the iced water, allowing it to mix for about 5 minutes until you get a very smooth and creamy paste.
- Transfer the hummus to a bowl, covering the surface with plastic wrap to allow to rest for at least 30 minutes. If not using immediately, refrigerate until needed. Add your toppings, if desired! Great paired with sesame pita chips and baby carrots.