Hummus: Simple and Easy

Hummus garnished with whole chickpeas on a Yem...
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Hummus and other Middle Eastern/Mediterranean foods have become very popular lately, and with good reason. They are not only delicious, but usually chock full of things that are good for you, while low in fat. But I have to say that grocery stores and Mediterranean delis have a good scam going selling prepared hummus. If you have a food processor, it is dead easy to make it yourself, just the way you like it. And the cost of a can of chickpeas is much lower than the cost of a small tub of prepared hummus.

I love to keep hummus around for a quick lunch or snack. I’ll eat it on pita, regular bread, crostini or in a wrap with lettuce, tomatoes and cucumber. It’s a great picnic food or a nice addition to a party spread. Hummus keeps for about a week in the refrigerator.

I don’t have a set recipe for making hummus. Each time I make it just a bit differently, experimenting with the amounts, spices and herbs. The following recipe provides suggested amounts, but taste and adjust as you go to your own preferences.

Quick tip: A recent issue of Cook’s Illustrated had an article on hummus. In it, they suggested processing the chickpeas and spices first, then adding the liquids separately through the feed tube. I tried this, and it resulted in a lighter, smoother hummus. While this step is not necessary, and you may want to omit it if you like your hummus chunkier, I include it below because it did improve the texture for me.


Process together:

  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 garlic clove, smashed
  • ½-1 tsp. cumin, or to taste
  • pinch cayenne
  • salt
  • 1 tbsp. parsley

While the food processor is running, pour in:

  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp. tahini blended with 2 tbsp. olive oil

If the hummus isn’t the desired consistency, add a few tablespoons water. Garnish with minced parsley, toasted sesame seeds and maybe a drizzle of olive oil.

Notes: Adjust amounts freely to your tastes. Some people like a good deal more tahini than I do, for instance. I have substituted other spices for the cumin with good results, such as smoked paprika. You may also want to add more garlic or parsley, use paprika instead of cayenne, or even throw in some roasted red peppers. There are no rules — or at least there shouldn’t be.

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4 thoughts on “Hummus: Simple and Easy

  1. Andy S 13 December 2008 at 11:05 pm

    Thanks for the recipe, i haven’t tried cumin before, I look forward to trying it.

    I reserve the liquid from the chick peas and use about 1/4 of it when processing to get the right consistency.

    I also recommend throwing in some kalamata olives, adds great taste and color.

  2. Shannon 14 December 2008 at 8:12 am

    Great suggestions, Andy!

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