A funny thing that not everyone knows about me is that I became the unlikely owner of a natural foods store on Nantucket Island when I was only 22 years old. Back in the late 80’s I was a vegetarian and cooked from the good old hippie standbys, The Moosewood Cookbook and Vegetarian Epicure. I baked an infamous cookie called Dani’s Healthy Cookie (which was apparently adopted without my knowledge by the Espresso Café, and either loved or made fun of forevermore), and I also made hummus. A ton of hummus. So much in fact, that I literally vowed to never make it again after I sold Nantucket Natural in 1994.
Well, I guess I’m a big fat liar because here I am, making it again, 20+ years later. This time I have a little more knowledge and verve to add to the otherwise boring standby. Did you know that removing the skins of the chickpeas make for the silkiest and smoothest hummus ever? It also makes them 100% more digestible! To do this, one soaks the dried peas overnight and then cooks them with a little baking soda in a pan, before adding the water to boil them. The skin comes off easily this way. Today however, I was lazy and bought a new brand of cooked garbanzos from Fig Foods. I drained them into a bowl, reserving the liquid, and rubbed them between my hands and the skins came right off. I really recommend them-the flavor and texture were great (they come in a bag, which may make that difference?).
Do you need another hummus recipe? Probably not. Am I going to share mine anyway? You bet! Enjoy!
Makes around two cups
2 cups of cooked chickpeas, without their skins, liquid strained and set aside
3 tablespoons of tahini (I like this brand)
2 small cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 big pinch cayenne
Juice and zest of one lemon
1/2-3/4cup of EVOO (your call)
1/2-1 teaspoon salt (your taste)
Chickpea liquid (see below)
Za’atar spice blend to sprinkle
Put the first seven ingredients into the bowl of a food processor (or blender) and mix until completely puréed. Add 1/2 cup of EVOO (to start) and the salt. Blitz another minute. Taste. Add a little more oil if you like. Now, slowly add the chickpea liquid, a spoonful at a time, until you arrive at the best consistency for you! Scrape into a pretty bowl, swirl the top with the back of a spoon, drizzle some EVOO and sprinkle with Za’atar.