Quick and easy hummus

For no particular reason, I’ve been on a big hummus kick lately. It’s a relatively nutritious snack, spread on pita or scooped up with crudités. And while it’s widely available in grocery stores, it’s also remarkably easy to make at home, with the added benefit that you can tweak the recipe to your taste or introduce variations. (On the other hand, one could argue that homemade is not as good as some purchased brands, but that’s a different issue.)

One of the signature flavours of hummus, of course, is garlic. The problem with garlic is that it can become harsh over time, so if you don’t finish the dip in one sitting, it can sometimes be unpleasant by the next day. The best solution is to cook the garlic before adding it. Roasted garlic is a nice touch, with its characteristic sweetness and meaty flavour.

Alternatively, you can blanch the garlic cloves before incorporating them. Place the whole, peeled garlic cloves in a small saucepan, cover with water and bring to a boil. Immediately drain, then return the garlic to the saucepan, and repeat the process twice more. This will prevent the harsh flavour from developing, but it does soften the overall flavour, too, so you may want to add more garlic to compensate. I keep a supply of frozen blanched garlic puree in my freezer for just such occasions.

How to make hummus

Hummus is flexible, so pretty much all amounts can be adjusted to taste.

19 oz. can chickpeas
2-3 Tbsp. tahini (if you don’t have any, you could add a very small amount of roasted sesame oil for a similar taste)
2-3 Tbsp. lemon juice
Garlic, blanched or roasted
Salt and pepper
Water or olive oil, as needed
Other flavourings: cumin, coriander, paprika, roasted red pepper puree, minced herbs, minced chipotle chillis, etc.

Blend the chickpeas in a food processor with the tahini, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper, adjusting the texture with water for a lighter dip or olive oil for a richer one. Other spices or purees can be blended in as well, or chopped herbs or chillis can be folded into the finished dip.

What’s your favourite take on hummus?

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