This recipe is one of the reasons I am invited to parties. For years I thought it was my irresistible charm or my clever wit that was so alluring, but no.
“Hey, we’re having a get-together Friday. We hope you can come! Around 7PM?”
“Oh, and can you bring your Chunky Mediterranean Hummus?”
My hummus. That’s the caveat.
But who can blame anyone for loving this dish?
My recipe takes hummus, a Middle Eastern staple, and loads it up with Mediterranean goodness. Hummus is like a beautiful neutral palette that complements anything that accompanies it. In this case, it is feta, olives, fresh tomatoes. Wow!
But this post is more about embellishing hummus than creating it. So if you have a favorite commercial brand, use that. Of course I want to give a shout out to the best hummus recipe. It is by chef Michael Solomov, who uses dried chickpeas. It is the silkiest hummus you will ever put in your mouth. https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1017734-zahavs-hummus-tehina
The secret to the silkiest hummus ever? Come here…lean in a little closer…you must remove the skins from your chickpeas. Gasp! Luckily there is such a luxury as peeled dried chickpeas. You may, however, need to make a concerted effort to find them. Otherwise, you could place a bowl of chickpeas on the counter overnight and hope that kitchen elves will magically peel them. Let me know how that works out for you.
I warn you: once you go skinless, it’s hard to go back.
Another of Solomov’s secrets is overboiling the chickpeas. Perhaps, like, 8 hours? Do it without salt, which can prevent them from softening. And he includes baking soda to the boil, essential to making them real soft (read creamy).
BUT…if you are impatient like me and HAVE to have it NOW, there’s a compromise between purists’ hummus and commercial hummus. It’s a shortcut for Solomov’s recipe. You can use canned chickpeas, but you must boil them for 20 minutes. Be sure to add baking soda to the water to loosen their skins. (see below)
If your hummus is too lumpy, add more oil. Sure you can try adding water or lemon juice, but neither will have the same effect as oil. And you are putting your hummus at risk of scaling down all the lusciousness! Why would you do that?
Don’t cut corners on the real lemon juice. Store bought juice sometimes gives hummus a metallic taste.
And the tahini? I like WHOLE FOODS 365 ORGANIC TAHINI, but there are many good ones on the market.
Drizzle on some EVOO–its fruitiness is a nice complement to the nutty sesame flavor of tahini. Top with feta, olives, tomatoes. Serve with pita bread or chips (I am mad for Stacy’s Simply Naked).
I am already thinking about next time I will make this…maybe a grilled vegetable topping? Yum!
Let me know if you try this recipe! Leave a comment and tag your picture #nakedepicurean on Instagram so I can celebrate with you.
Chunky Mediterranean Hummus
- 1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas, drained
- ½ teaspoon baking soda (if you’re planning to boil them)
- 4-5 tablespoons of real lemon juice (or to taste)
- 1 large clove of garlic, roughly chopped and smashed
- ½ teaspoon ground sea salt
- ½ cup tahini
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- feta cheese (do not buy it crumbled; do it yourself)
- olives–Kalamata, Nicose, Castelvetrano (whatever you have on hand)
- cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
- fresh parsley, coarsely chopped
- small amount of chopped red onion
- additional chickpeas
- Place the chickpeas in a medium saucepan and cover with a couple of inches of water. Add the baking soda. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to medium-high and boil for about 20 minutes. When they are soft and their skins are falling off, they’re done. Drain the chickpeas and rinse with cool water. Set aside.
- Combine the lemon juice, garlic and salt in a food processor.
- Add the tahini and blend until the mixture is thick and creamy, stopping to scrape the sides as necessary.
- While running the food processor, drizzle in 2 tablespoons of EVOO (it is important to emulsify). Scrape down again, and blend until the mixture is pale and smooth.
- Add the cumin and chickpeas. While blending, drizzle in more olive oil. Blend until smooth, about 2 minutes, scraping down as necessary.
- Taste and adjust flavor to your liking.
- Scrape the hummus onto a platter. Make a pool with the back of your spoon for more EVOO. Garnish with sumac or paprika or za’atar.
- Top with Chunky Mediterranean Hummus garnishes.