Published May 1, 2008.
Hummus requires only a handful of ingredients and a few minutes to make—but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be good.
Most hummus has a coarse, dense consistency caused by the tough skins of the chickpeas.
We wanted hummus with a light, silky-smooth texture and a flavor profile that balances chickpeas, tahini (ground sesame paste), lemon juice, garlic, and extra-virgin olive oil.
Chickpeas are the foundation of this recipe, so they need to be good. While the flavor of dried-bean hummus is superior to the canned-bean version, canned beans produce perfectly acceptable results, especially considering their convenience. But tasters found surprising quality variations among canned beans (see related taste test). In theory, the best way to guarantee a creamy texture is to remove the chickpeas’ tough skins, but we couldn’t find an approach that wasn’t tedious or futile. The food processor, while it couldn’t remove all the graininess when we pureed the chickpeas alone, did produce the desired texture when we used it to make an emulsion (much like mayonnaise). We started by grinding just the chickpeas and then very slowly added a small amount of water and lemon juice. To finish, we whisked the olive oil and tahini together and drizzled the mixture into the puree while processing; this created a smooth, light emulsion. For the best flavor, we chose our tahini carefully (see related taste test) and used it generously. Tasters liked the earthy undertones of cumin and the subtle heat of a pinch of cayenne pepper, and agreed that a modest amount of lemon juice, garlic, and olive oil kept the flavors balanced.list of recipes