Tuesday, February 26, 2013

creamy roasted garlic hummus

Chickpeas are my culinary soulmate.  If I could just have one main ingredient to cook with for the rest of my life, my choice would be simple. I might give lentils some careful consideration, but ultimately, I'd choose the star ingredient of falafel, hummus, salads, soups, croquettes, curry, and so many other things.

Falafel may be my first culinary obsession, but hummus is a less documented close second.  The first time I had hummus was my freshman year at university.  I was skeptical, but it was love at first bite, and now I'm grateful to have known hummus for over half my life :)

My favorite hummus for years was Tribe of Two Sheiks, then I fell for the heavenly creamy texture of Sabra hummus, which developed into a spendy Trader Joe's hummus habit.  Parallel to my love affair with commercially prepared hummus, I was trying to nail a decent recipe of my own, but it usually had too much tahini, too much garlic, not enough garlic, an off texture, or was generally missing something.

Many kilos of chickpeas later, I hit on this recipe, which is perfect to my taste.   It's creamy, light on the tahini, uses roasted garlic for a mellow garlic flavor, and citric acid, because that's what was missing. 

2 cups cooked chickpeas
1/2 cup (or so) cooking liquid from the chickpeas
4 - 5 roasted garlic cloves
2 T tahini
1 t lemon juice
1/2 t salt
1/4 t citric acid
1/4 t white pepper
3 T olive oil + some for the top

Using a food processor with the blade attachment, blend everything except the chickpeas and the olive oil.

I don't know if this is an official fact, but I swear the secret to creamy smooth hummus is blending the liquid ingredients before adding the chickpeas and olive oil.

Add the chickpeas, then let the processor run while drizzling the olive oil through the feed tube.  Let it run for several minutes, stopping a couple of times to scrape the sides.  I usually let it run while I'm washing the measuring cups, spoons, etc.  

Once the hummus is smooth and lovely, I spread it into a bowl, and drizzle a few tablespoons of olive oil over the top.  Then, in theory, I refrigerate it for at least a couple of hours, or preferably overnight.  Truthfully, unless it's for company, I'm usually in there long before it has a chance to chill.

My favorite way to eat it is on my homemade pita chips, or with it's cousin, falafel!

4 comments:

  1. I LOVE garlic hummus! This sounds so easy but now to try and find citric acid! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

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  2. Why not lemon juice instead of citric acid, Sage?

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  3. Debbie, It's easier to find here than in the US, but in the US, I was able to find it in the canning section of my grocery store. Luckily, they had a small year round canning section. Try there, if you can :)

    Lisa, Using just lemon juice didn't give me the slight sour note I wanted before the lemon taste became overpowering. Too little lemon/citric acid, and I think the tahini is too prominent. I got the idea to try citric acid by deconstructing the ingredients list on a tub I'd bought.

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  4. Hi Sage,
    It makes sense that blending the oil and other liquids first would create a creamier texture...it probably forms an emulsion similar to homemade mayonnaise. Years ago I remember you recommended citric acid in a different humus recipe and have since tried it with great success...it does add that missing something! The roasted garlic sounds heavenly. As always, thanks for sharing with us what you've learned/are learning. Perhaps it'll save us lifetimes of mistakes. :)))
    Love,
    Tracey
    XoX

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