I’m going to ask you to bear with me here on a couple of ideas that might seem slightly outrageous. Stay with me, okay?
This hummus is definitely a time-saver compared to the BA’s Best version. There is no overnight soaking of chickpeas required or mandated trips to the store in search of tahini made with hulled sesame seeds (though I still strongly advise you to stop buying the health food store tahini that has the same consistency as peanut butter). There are, however, a few little stipulations that in my opinion, make this a very good hummus recipe. One of them is shelling the chickpeas. Yes, this task is a bit tedious and you should commit to it taking a solid 30 minutes if tackling it solo, but I promise you – this is KEY if you want to make smoother hummus at home but are also unwilling to work with dried chickpeas. Just get yourself a few bowls (one for the drained and rinsed chickpeas, one for the skins/shells, and one for the shelled chickpeas), put on Netflix, and plough through. It’s actually a fairly mindless task, which has its own soothing tediousness to it. Trust me – your hummus game will change noticeably if you just do this one thing.
Okay, so that’s one of the things you might be hesitant about, and truly, if you are okay or even prefer chunkier hummus, you can bypass this step entirely (even though it’s basically just TV-watching but with busier hands). The other idea that you might balk at, but again should at least contemplate, is the addition of a rather unconventional ingredient: mayonnaise.
I apologize right now if you belong to a cultural group where hummus is a part of the food legacy. I realize that adding mayo to hummus must be like how I felt when taco shells made from Doritos became a thing that humanity recognized as being a legitimate food. You have the right to ignore the rest of my spiel from here on out. If you are not shaking your head in disgust right now though, let me go on to say that you actually don’t taste the mayo at all, only the creamy, fatty richness that it brings to this hummus. As with the chickpea-shelling, it’s not a make-or-break thing, but I really do think it lends a nice texture to this very inauthentic, but nonetheless delicious hummus recipe. If you decide to pass on the mayo, it’s fine, but maybe just add a touch more olive oil to loosen the hummus up a bit (not too much though – add it in very gradually).
A final note before moving on to the recipe: please taste and salt your hummus before scraping it out of the food processor. Don’t just add the recommended salt dosage and decide the recipe won’t need any re-calibrating. Taste it, decide if YOU think it needs more salt (or lemon juice…or cumin…or the mayo that you might have eschewed…) and add whatever you feel is missing. Under-salted hummus is a needless tragedy that can easily be avoided. Don’t fall victim to strict adherence of ingredient specifications. That is all.
Roasted Garlic Hummus
Adapted very liberally from Bonnie Stern (Essentials of Home Cooking)
Makes about 2 cups of hummus
1 19-oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed, shelled if desired
1 head of garlic, roasted (see note at end)
3 tbsp lemon juice (approximately 1 large lemon)
3 tbsp olive oil (more if omitting the mayo)
1/3 cup tahini (preferably good quality)
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp salt + more to taste
¼ cup mayonnaise (optional)
Place all ingredients except for mayonnaise in a food processor (just squeeze the cloves from the roasted garlic directly into the food pro). Blend on high speed for 2 minutes until completely pureed. This will be more achievable if your chickpeas are shelled…just saying. If chunkier hummus is your thing, then process for less time. If you do not have an aversion to putting mayo in/on unusual food items, go ahead and add it to the hummus and blend for another minute (also, if this is your stance on mayo, let’s hang out more!). If the mayo recommendation made your stomach turn, skip this step and decide if your hummus could benefit from another spoonful or two of olive oil. Go ahead and TASTE your hummus. Missing anything? If so, doctor it up the way you like it. The roasted garlic imparts quite a mild garlic flavor, so if you like a really punchy, garlicky hummus just throw in a minced clove or two and blend for another minute. Serve right away or refrigerate for up to one week. I like presenting this hummus fairly simply, just drizzled with good olive oil and dusted with a little smoked paprika. Serve with grilled pita, olives, cured meat, and call it dinner.
*For roasted garlic: Cut the top inch (the end with the little stem-like protuberance) from a head of garlic. Smear the cut end with a little oil and wrap the garlic in aluminum foil so that only the oiled cut end peeks out. Roast in a 350 degree F oven for 45-60 minutes or until soft and caramelized. Let cool and squeeze the cloves out with your hands like an animal.