24 July 2005

superior hummus

Ingredients (my proportions in parentheses):
  • 1 large can (19 oz) garbanzo beans, drained, liquid reserved
  • 1 can (14 oz) cannellini (Italian white beans)
  • juice of a large lemon (around half)
  • garlic cloves, peeled (2-4)
  • olive oil (1 T)
  • lowfat plain yogurt (4 T)
  • sesame seed oil, preferably toasted sesame seed oil (2 T)
  • kosher salt (1/2 T)
  • fresh ground black pepper (1 t)
  • cumin (1 t)

Combine all in food processor, until desired consistency.

For me, good hummus is a balance between all the flavors and it's easy to get carried away, so taste often and adjust seasonings a little at a time. Usually hummus has tahini, a sesame seed paste, in it. Since tahini is high fat, this recipe leaves it out, achieving a very similar taste with the sesame seed oil. Start with at least a tablespoon, and adjust to your taste. If too thick, thin with liquid from beans, extra lemon juice (carefully, as this can quickly overwhelm the other flavors), a little more oil, or more yogurt.

Probably this will not keep as long as traditional hummus (because of the yogurt), but it's so good that won't be a problem. Serve with whatever you like, but we think it's good with red bell pepper strips, cucumbers, toasted pita bread triangles.

Note on sesame oil: It's easy to find at any Asian market, or even the Asian section of most grocery stores. You may have to go to a specialty market to find toasted sesame seed oil, but it's worth it. The flavor is much richer and deeper, and when using oil for a flavoring, that lets you use less oil to better effect.

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