Anna’s Test Kitchen – Hummus deconstructed

Friday, 1 April 2016 | Tags: , , , , , ,

To become a good cook, one has to be open to learning. And there is nothing better then discovering super-easy-to-apply tips that have a big impact on the final dish. Tips like letting pizza dough sit for a couple days before making your pies (it gives the crust that tang) and cutting the sugar in cookbook desert recipes by 10% (most deserts are too sweet). Some of this wisdom is gathered by trial and error, some comes from all those cookbooks I read and some comes from hanging around real chefs.

This week I added another to my arsenal, and if you love hummus, you have to try it.

I was recently in Israel, where we ate hummus everyday, and I noted a big difference from the thing called hummus I get at home. The Israeli version was gentler, creamier and better balanced. So I was curious when I came across this recipe from one of my favourite culinary sites, Food52.

The trick is to use whole, unpeeled cloves of garlic. Pulse them roughly in a food processor with lemon juice and then let the garlic sit in the juice for awhile, before discarding the garlic and keeping the juice. Brilliant. The result is a much subtler garlic effect. Most recipes call for so much garlic, it’s all I taste.

I’m slightly ashamed to admit that I’ve been using canned chickpeas my whole life. Wrong! Use dried as the recipe recommends and spend the extra money on the best quality tahini you can find, because this recipe rightly calls for a lot of it and I realize now the strong tahini flavour is reminiscent of what I had in Israel.


One note, I used quite a bit more salt, cumin and lemon juice then the recipe suggested. Use your best quality olive oil for drizzling on afterwards.

And hummus isn’t just for dipping. Use it as a spread instead of mayonnaise in a veggie sandwich or mixed into a kale salad. (Trust me on that one, it’s delicious.)

This hummus will keep in the fridge for several days. But it’s so good, it probably won’t.


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