i have so many things to say about hummus and i have no idea where to begin. i know where to end and that's the part where i give you a really fantastic and easy recipe for the hummus that i am licking straight out of the bowl right now. it is that good. i should save some for eggboy though because he gobbles this stuff up with a spoon (he won't even touch store bought hummus). speaking of eggboy, that is a good place to start with my life as it relates to hummus:
1. on my first nighttime date with eggboy, i ate hummus. i am pretty sure that is the reason that later that night i (accidentally) farted the loudest fart i ever did fart. i was the most amount of embarrassed i've ever been and i thought he would never want to see me again and i stressed out about it for days. but then rob pointed out that a cool thing about eggboy is that he doesn't care about that stuff at all, and to this day he hasn't said a word about it.
2. prior to eggboy, i briefly dated a human who studied in israel, and he turned his nose up at all hummus made in america. i didn't get it. i thought he was a snob, and i enjoyed sabra hummus (or what brian calls "the kraft cheese of hummus"). but then i had hummus in israel and it all became clear (more on this later).
3. i once went to a halloween party in bushwick where everyone rode homemade bikes and threw hummus at each other.
4. i love hummus so much. i make it almost every week.
ok now that we have these established and you know that i fart, let's discuss a few ground rules with hummus. i learned these rules at a goat farm in israel from janna gur, who is like israel's ruth reichl.
2. hummus is: freshly cooked chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, lemon, and salt. maybe garlic.
3. hummus must be made fresh right before it is served, and it should be at room temperature or even still slightly warm from cooking the chickpeas. if there are leftovers, they should only be kept for three days.
the hummus in israel was simply something else. it was nuttier, more flavorful, magical. it was elegant in a most personable and happy way. i'd pay good money to be back on that little sidewalk in front of abu hassan, sharing bowls of hummus with some of my favorite humans.
the best hummus
when it is freshly made, this hummus comes close to the amazing hummus that i ate in israel. it takes quite some time to prepare the chickpeas, but all of the hands-on steps are easy peasy.
3/4 c dried chickpeas
1/2 tsp baking soda, for cooking the chickpeas
6 tb tahini*
6 tb olive oil
the juice from 1/2 a lemon
kosher salt, to taste
optional: 2 cloves of garlic
cover the chickpeas with about 2 inches of water and soak overnight, or for 12 hours. transfer to a large sauce pan and cover with an inch of water. stir in the baking soda and bring to a boil. cover and let simmer for about 2 hours, until the chickpeas are soft.
drain the chickpeas and measure out 2 cups into a food processor, reserving extra for garnish, if desired. add tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic (if using) and a good pinch of salt. blend! adjust salt, and serve with a drizzle of olive oil. enjoy with warm fresh pita.
*update 3/17/2014: i've recently found myself adding more and more tahini. sometimes i even use a one-to-one tahini-to-chickpea ratio. if you'd like to add more tahini for a creamier consistency and more nutty taste, go for it!