"makes about a quart" hummus


My sweetie tells me that if I ever publish a cookbook it'll be titled "Makes About A Quart" because everthing I make seems to make between a quart and a half-gallon. This hummus is no exception; there in the handmade bowl (with cone 9 bronze glaze) is around a quart of my hummus. However, since you can make a quart of hummus for the cost of buying a half-pint of it at the store, and it'll be tastier to boot, why not go for it?

This is a non-traditional hummus, but very tasty and popular. I created the recipe by improving one I got out of The 30-Minute Vegetarian Gourmet in 1991, and have refined it over the 80 or so times I've made it over the last 17 years.

This hummus keeps in the fridge for 7-12 days and freezes reasonably well, though, so there's no reason not to make a bunch and save some for later.

  • 1 large (or two medium) onion, sliced, about 1½ cups.
  • 6-10 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped into large pieces
  • 2 tbs olive oil, pref. Kalamata
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp Aleppo pepper, paprika, or smoked paprika
  • ½ to 1 cup chopped parsley
  • 3 14-oz cans chickpeas (or fava beans), drained
  • ¾ cup tahini (raw sesame paste) (see note)
  • ¼ cup lemon juice (plus more to taste)
  • 3 tsp salt
  • Up to ½ cup Kalamata olive oil
  • Up to 1 cup warm salted water, bean cooking water, or stock
  • Equipment: frying pan, food processor

Heat 2 tbs Kalamata olive oil in the frying pan. Saute the onions and garlic until limp. Add the cumin and pepper or paprika, stir for 30 seconds, then take off heat. Stir in the parsley until it wilts, then let cool.

Process the fried onion mixture and most of the other ingredients in 2 or 3 batches in a food processor.

Make sure to have some of all ingredients in each batch, in this order bottom-to-top: onions & garlic, chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, salt, ½ of the olive oil. Process until smooth, adding a little olive oil and a little warm salted water as needed to get a smooth creamy consistency. Olive oil makes it richer, water makes it lighter.

Serve immediately with toasted pita, or keep in the fridge for up to 8 days, or in the freezer for several weeks. Smooth the surface and cover with a layer of olive oil for better keeping.

* Note on Chickpeas: instead of cans, you can cook the chickpeas or fava beans (or a mix) yourself. You want about 5 cups of beans, which means starting with 1¾ cups of dried chickpeas. If you cook them with 1 tsp baking soda in the water, they will be softer and make a creamier, smoother hummus.

* Note on Tahini: if tahini is very expensive in your area, or hard to find, but you can get raw sesame seeds (say, from a Mexican market), you can substitute 1 cup of sesame seeds plus 2 tbs sesame oil for the tahini in the recipe above. Make sure to put them on the bottom so they grind well.