Updated: Apr 14, 2021
This week I was snacking on some leftover roasted garlic hummus we had made for a recent event. Its definitely one of our go to recipes in the CHOP kitchen because it has so much versatility and you can flavor it a hundred different ways. However, the key to really good hummus is that super creamy texture and using dry chickpeas instead of canned when possible. This can be tricky because what prevents hummus from blending into a super creamy puree is that thin little skin on the outside of the chickpea. There are two options for removing this skin and I can say from experience that one way is much more fun than the other! Option 1: Soak your chickpeas overnight and then simmer until tender and drain. Then painstakingly peel the chickpeas by hand to remove the outer skin (Not fun!). Option 2: Soak chickpeas overnight. Then, before simmering, sprinkle a little baking soda over the soaked chickpeas and cook for a few minutes in a dry saute pan until the skins soften and start to fall off by themselves! Then you can proceed to simmer them in water until tender. The result of this method is a super creamy puree with no peeling necessary. Thank you to Yotam Ottolenghi for popularizing this method with the world, its definitely a keeper! If you’re a big science nerd (like me!) this trick works because the baking soda creates an alkaline environment which breaks down the structure of the skin and the cooking in the dry pan creates friction which rubs off most of the now weakened skins. Genius! Use the following recipe as a base for your hummus experiments. Feel free to try out different herbs, spices, or even blending in cooked vegetables like red peppers or carrots. Sometimes I’ll also fold in a little strained yogurt for a super creamy and slightly tangy dip. So many ways to go here once you get the basic idea down. Bonus: This recipe also shows you how to make garlic confit which is basically just like roasted garlic plus you get a garlic flavored oil out of it! You can use this for all kinds of things including garlic bread, adding to pasta sauce, or cooking greens in. Also note that in a pinch you can use canned chickpeas. Simply proceed as if they were already soaked, dried chickpeas and keep a close eye on them when they are simmering in the water as they will break down quicker (You may only need to bring them up to a simmer and then kill the heat!).
Roasted Garlic Hummus 1 Cup Dry Chickpeas 3/4 teaspoon Baking Soda ½ Cup Tahini 3 Tablespoons Lemon Juice 1 Head of Garlic 1 Tablespoon Cumin 4-5 Tablespoons Ice Water 2 Tablespoons Garlic Oil Vegetable or Canola Oil (any neutral oil will work) Salt to taste Instructions
Place the chickpeas in a large container and cover with about 3 times their volume In water. Allow to soak overnight. They will swell as they absorb water so allow plenty of room for them to expand
Meanwhile, make the roasted garlic (garlic confit) by peeling the head of garlic and placing the cloves in a small pot
Add enough canola or vegetable oil to just barely cover
Place the garlic and oil over a very low flame and simmer gently until the garlic is soft and beginning to turn a light golden brown. Set aside to cool completely before storing in the refrigerator (this will keep for at least 1 month!)
The next day, drain the chickpeas and place in a medium sized pot
Add the baking soda to the chickpeas and stir constantly over medium heat. As the chickpeas warm up you will notice the skins begin to loosen and fall off as you stir. Cook for about 3 minutes or until the skins have noticeably begun to fall off
Add enough water to the pot to completely cover the chickpeas by about 2 inches
Bring to a simmer and cook gently until the chickpeas are soft and smash easily when squeezed between 2 fingers. This will take anywhere from 10-25 minutes depending on your particular chickpeas but keep an eye on them as if they cook too long they will begin to fall apart
Drain in a colander and allow to cool
In a food processor combine the chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, cumin, 5 cloves of garlic confit, 2 tablespoons of garlic oil, and salt to taste. Turn on and blend thoroughly, occasionally scraping down the sides
While the motor is running drizzle in the ice water a tablespoon at a time until you have a super smooth puree
Taste and adjust seasoning and lemon juice. Serve with fresh pita bread, chips, or veggies!