This Levantine staple fascinates me as children just can’t seem get enough of it. I’ve met very few younglings that would reject a tub of hummus and crudités – but where does that desire stem from?
Without doubt it’s most certainly delicious and comforting, but would you expect the same reaction from “hey kids, fancy some chickpea purée?”
Does the foreign sounding name (from the Arabic word for chickpeas) make it more accessible to young minds? Perhaps their former years of puréed baby food developed an unconscious affinity for its texture and appearance? I’ve not come to any conclusions yet, but, in some ways, who cares! Is this the perfect vehicle for delivering nutritious goodness and raw vegetables or what?!? Hummus is packed with fibre, protein and vitamins. It’s also vegetarian, gluten free, dairy free and vegan. Clever little legume.
It’s ubiquitous in the supermarkets here in the UK, but also remarkably quick, cheap and simple to make at home. You can literally knock hummus up from store cupboard ingredients in a matter of minutes. Beat that.
Here’s a classic, simple and foolproof recipe for plain hummus.
- 1 tin chickpeas (400g), rinsed & drained
- 1 tbsp tahini
- ½ garlic clove
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- pinch of salt
- juice of ½ lemon
- Reserve a few chickpeas for garnish.
- Pop the rest of the chickpeas in a food processor with the tahini, garlic, olive oil, salt and lemon juice.
- Blitz the mixture and add a splash of water if it’s too thick.
- Give it a taste and carefully adjust with lemon juice and salt until you’re happy with the balance of flavours.
Of course, you can flavour hummus with all sorts of lovely ingredients: beetroot, roasted onion, paprika, edamame and wasabi, roasted red peppers – the list goes on and on. Given the current season, I’ve recently foraged some wild garlic (Ramsons) from here in the Cotswolds to give it a subtle twist.
Here’s a link to my Harissa Hummus recipe: https://foodfitforfelix.com/2016/06/22/harissa-houmous/
.. and there are more ideas over on Jamie’s page thanks to our lovely ambassadors:
What about dried chickpeas? Is it worth the effort? It must be right?
Dried chickpeas require a little time and love as you can’t eat them raw – they must be soaked overnight in cold water and then simmered for about an hour until tender. The benefit is that they’re even cheaper than the canned variety and you can control the texture by cooking them yourself. Note that they will triple in size once they’re rehydrated.
To serve, I like to sprinkle over a little spice (paprika, cumin or sumac) and drizzle with a good quality olive oil. Delicious with flatbreads, toasted pitta or breadsticks, freshly cut vegetables such as peppers, cucumber, radish, celery – the choice is yours.
Hummus will keep for a good few days covered in the fridge.