Hummus could easily be mistaken for naughty food. It's smooth and creamy, goes exceedingly well with crunchy treats and has an amazing savoury, earthy flavour. Little does my greedy belly know it's a pretty healthy treat. "It'll give your insides a good sweeping" is how my eloquent father would put it.
I came to love hummus late in life. We never would have dreamed of eating chickpeas at home. Wheat was the only grain we consumed, and it came in the form of white bread or the flour used in sponge cakes. Chickpeas, barley and other "fancy" grains were found in the chook food, not in your dip bowl. The extent of our canned food was baked beans, spaghetti or tomatoes for Mum's famous savoury mince. That said, I think we ate very well in our house and I still have much to learn about how to feed a tribe from my lovely Mum. Our tribe of two is not so challenging at this point.
The trick for a super smooth hummus is a real cracker. I pinched it from Smitten Kitchen. She might be the only person I know (besides myself) so committed to hummus she peels each and every chickpea. To be honest, it didn't take that long and I've spent my time on far less productive pursuits (shout out to people.com).
You can fix up hummus with all kinds of additions. Capsicum, goats cheese, basil or sundried tomatoes are just a few ideas. But honestly, it's hard to beat the smooth chickpeas with the sharp lemon tang of the traditional recipe. Besides, the more you trick it up, the less likely it is to be that healthy treat you intended to make. And a note to self: serving corn chips alongside a virtuous hummus does not cancel out calories. Not even if you peel them.
1 tin of chickpeas
1 tbsp tahini
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsp grapeseed oil
1 clove garlic
1/3 cup water
salt and pepper
Drain chickpeas and rinse thoroughly. With two bowls in front of you, peel chickpeas, placing the skin in one bowl and the pea in the other.
Place the chickpeas, tahini, garlic, salt and pepper in the bowl of a food processor. With the motor running, pour in oil slowly, followed by the water. You may not need all the water; just add enough until a smooth consistency is achieved. Squeeze as much lemon juice into the hummus as you can handle - a sharp hummus is a good hummus.
Serve with crunchy vegetable batons and toasted flatbread. To store, place in a plastic container and cover closely with plastic wrap. Refrigerate.