Hummus consists of a general base: chick peas (or garbanzo beans… they are the same thing), lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, and a medley of spices, tumeric, cumin, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. (Most people also like to add tahini, which is a seasame seed paste – it’s not my favorite, but i will include it as an option).
A standard recipe would be the following:
1 15oz. can chick peas
1/8 slice of a lemon (for juice, and zest if desired)
3 cloves of garlic
1/3 t each of tumeric, cumin, and cayenne pepper
1/2 t each of kosher salt and black pepper
about 1/4 c olive oil, but you can add more for a silkier texture, and less for a chunkier texture
a few tablespoons of tahini, depending on how much you like for texture and flavor (again, I prefer to leave this out)
Blend everything but the olive oil to break it down and mix it a bit. Then, stream in the olive oil WHILE blending to emulsify the mixture. Add less as it goes to make it chunkier, and keep adding more to make it smoother. Be sure to do this slowly and in small increments, so you don’t overestimate how much oil you might want before the mixture has a chance to blend better.
This is the standard base for hummus, and from there, you can create variations depending on your preferences….
Roasted onion and garlic hummus:
Sautee about 1/4 of an onion of your choice in olive oil (roughly chop it before putting it in the pan)
Once the onions start to become transparent, add in 3 very roughly chopped cloves of garlic
Once everything is browned (make sure not to burn the garlic though!), let it cool for a bit (and save the olive oil!) while you put together the standard recipe for hummus. When everything is in the blender, and the onion and garlic has cooled, add both of the latter in, and pulse it a little to get them mixed in well. Then emulsify with the left over olive oil.
This way, the roasting adds a sweet flavor to the onion, the garlic is less bitter, and the oil becomes infused with the flavors of the onion and garlic.
Roasted eggplant hummus:
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees (or you can use a frying pan for this). Wash an eggplant and cut half of it into 1/2in discs. Place in layers in a strainer, and sprinkle each layer with kosher salt. Leave alone for about 10 minutes while you prepare the basic hummus mixture in the blender. After about 10 minutes, the eggplant is ready to be washed off and squeezed out over the sink. The slices should have turned a little brown, and the liquid coming out of them should be slightly brown as well: this process removes the bitter flavor most people complain about in eggplant.
Next, roughly cut up the discs into chunks, rub with a little olive oil, sprinkle with kosher salt or any of your favorite spices, and bake in the oven until roasted and browned.
Once ready, let cool a bit, then add to the blender and puree the eggplant along with the standard hummus mixture until well blended.
Roasted red pepper hummus:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Wash 1 or 2 red peppers and coat lightly with olive oil. Once oven is ready, place pepper(s) diagonally on the top rack and let roast for about 10 minutes (you want the outer skin to look a little charred, but don’t burn the whole thing).
Once ready, remove from oven and put pepper(s) in a paper bag. Roll or fold the top over, and let steam for 5 minutes.
The skin will be easily pulled off now. Gently remove the outer layer of skin, roughly chop and de-core/seed the pepper(s), then add to hummus mixture in the blender and blend as instructed in the first recipe until desired texture is reached.
Other roast vegetable variations:
Asparagus, sweet potato, and butternut squash are also all good. Just wash, lightly coat with olive oil, and roast in the oven until browned. Let cool for a bit, then add to blender.
Raw spinach is also good, just add a couple handfulls of spinach to blender, and it turns it a light or dark green, depending on how much you use.
Sun dried tomatoes are good as well.
Variations on beans – You could really use any kind of bean for this… although, it might not be called hummus anymore, it would still be great:
Canelli beans with parsley or basil and pinenuts, are a beandip/pesto hybrid
Black beans with cilantro, tomatoes, lime juice, and peanut oil would be great for burritos or a dip for chips
Kidney beans with some mustard, dill, and vegetable oil would be good for sandwiches or to mix in with summer salads
Lentils or soy beans with seasame oil, seasame seeds, green onions, lime juice, siriachi sauce, and a splash of soy sauce would be great for an Asian twist
You can really experiment with anything, and use the spread for sandwhiches, a dip for vegetables, crackers, chips, or pita bread, add to salads, or sometimes use for stuffed vegetables…. there are endless possibilities… just remember to stream in the olive oil so it gets emulsified and is not clumpy and separated!