I COULD LIVE ON HUMMUS, providing I had carrots, celery, or this homemade pita bread to spread it upon. Of course, I’m not talking about the Elmer’s Glue variety of hummus that supermarkets sell, but the heavenly, homemade version by Paula Wolfert. Yesterday, I tried her easy recipe that makes four big cups (enough for a party) of Middle-Eastern magic. What a nutty, lemony, rich-and-creamy taste-sensation! Is it any surprise that The Los Angeles Times included this recipe in its story celebrating the best hummus in that city?
Paula Wolfert’s Hummus
Ingredients for 4 cups
1 1/2 cups dried chickpeas, soaked overnight
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided in half
3 garlic cloves, peeled
3/4 cup sesame seed paste
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice, and more to taste
Cayenne, hot Hungarian paprika
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 teaspoons olive oil
1. Rinse the soaked chickpeas well and drain them before putting them in a saucepan and covering them with plenty of fresh water. Bring to a boil; skim, add one-half teaspoon salt, cover and cook over medium heat, about 1 1/2 hours, until the chickpeas are very soft (you might need to add more water).
2. Meanwhile, crush the garlic and one-half teaspoon salt in a mortar until pureed. (Or, use my technic: mince the garlic, sprinkle with salt, and then rub the garlic with the flat of a knife against the cutting board until a smooth puree is achieved.) Transfer the puree to the work bowl of a food processor, add the sesame seed paste and lemon juice and process until white and contracted. Add one-half cup water and process until completely smooth.
3. Drain the chickpeas, reserving their cooking liquid. Add the chickpeas to the sesame paste mixture and process until well-blended. For a smoother texture, press the mixture through the fine blade of a food mill. Thin to desired consistency with reserved chickpea liquid. Adjust the seasoning with salt and lemon juice. The hummus can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.) Serve, sprinkled with paprika (or za’atar) and parsley and drizzled with oil.
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