Making hummus from scratch is a cinch. It just takes a little planning. You need to soak the chickpeas for at least 12 hours in advance of cooking to ensure they cook through evenly. I usually just soak them at room temperature overnight in the pot I’m planning to cook them in to simplify the process. Once you’ve mastered the base, you can play with different toppings: Roasted peppers, sautéed mushrooms and onions, and braised lamb with pine nuts are some of our favorites.
- Soak the chickpeas with the baking soda overnight in 4 cups of water.
- The next day, drain the chickpeas and cook, bringing to a boil in twice their volume of water (about 6 cups), then lowering the flame to a simmer until the chickpeas are extremely soft and just beginning to crumble (about 45 minutes), straining the scum and skins that float to the top from time to time. Once cooked, cool in their cooking liquid, agitating the beans from time to time to loosen their skins and straining off any that float to the top.
- While the chickpeas are cooling, blend the garlic with the lemon juice and salt in a food processor and let sit for 10 minutes (the acid from the lemon stabilizes garlic and stops it from producing an undesirable flavor). Add the tahini and continue blending until smooth, light, and fluffy.
- Once sufficiently cooled, drain the chickpeas, discarding the skins that separate from the peas, and add them to the food processor. Blend until completely smooth, 3-4 minutes. Adjust the seasoning with a little more salt or lemon juice as necessary. Service with a generous drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of paprika for color.
TASTE editor in chief Matt Rodbard and chef Daniel Holzman are friends. Matt has many food and home cooking questions. Daniel has many food and home cooking opinions. Their column is called 100 Food Questions for My Friend the Chef.