Hummus was one of the first dishes I learned how to make early on in my catering career. I thought it was pretty darn great, until I hired an Israeli chef, and found out that I had a lot to learn. Like the fact that adding a pinch of baking soda to the chickpea cooking water helps keep farting to a minimum. And that beating the tahini with a fork makes for an extra-creamy result. Later, I went to Israel and found entire restaurants dedicated to just hummus. Where is the rest of the menu? I wondered. But I sat down, ordered hummus, Israeli salad, and French fries for dipping, and realized I didn’t need another thing.
Dump a coffee cup of dried chickpeas into a deep bowl and cover with three inches of water. Refrigerate overnight. Next day, put your chickpeas in a pot and cover with three inches of water. Add two cloves of peeled garlic, a tiny pinch of baking soda, and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer till the chickpeas are very soft, about an hour. Save a ½ coffee cup of your cooking liquid and drain the rest. Beat a ½ coffee cup of tahini with a fork till smooth. In a dry pan, toast a smidgen of ground cumin.
In a food processor, puree the chickpeas with the garlic. Add half of the reserved cooking liquid, a drizzle of olive oil, the tahini, a drizzle of fresh lemon juice, the toasted cumin, and salt to taste. Want it creamier? Add more cooking liquid. To serve, dump in a bowl, make a little crater in the middle and drizzle in olive oil then top with a sprinkle of paprika and fresh chopped parsley. Serve with veggies and pita – or French fries! – for dipping.
OPTIONS: Hummus is great for experimenting: throw in a handful of roasted and peeled red bell peppers, toss in pitted black or green olives, drop in a smidgen of sliced sundried tomatoes. With any of these, save a little bit, chop it up, and use for garnish.
BY CHEF ROSSI
PHOTOGRAPHED BY SHAY HARRINGTON
This article originally appeared in the August/September 2017 print edition of BUST Magazine. Subscribe today!
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