How to Make Perfect, Basic, Everyday Hummus
I am not a minimalist. But when it comes to cooking and things I make myself, I am all for keeping it simple, fast, easy, and inexpensive -- after all, I want to spend at least as much time enjoying this food as I did making it! Cooking is my passion, and I absolutely love making things at home and reveling in how much money I saved over the store bought variety -- my husband can certainly attest to how many times I've enthusiastically presented him with "a twelve dollar salad" that knocks Sweetgreen out of the water. If only he enjoyed salads as much as I do...!
Speaking of things I like to make at home, hummus is one thing I will make just about every week. Whether or not you're vegan or even vegetarian, hummus is one of those fundamental foods that will serve you well in so many different situations. We snack on it straight out of the fridge, slather it between two slices of homemade sourdough bread with tomatoes and sprouts, spoon it onto salads, and serve it at literally every happy hour/dinner party/gathering of any kind at our house. It's so easy to make, so delicious, and just about universally loved by everyone (if you hate hummus, sorry, feel free to call me out in the comments ;).
Nutritionally, it's the perfect triple threat of protein, carbs, and fat (which ironically my Mom also used to tell me about milk... little did I know then that milk was also the cause of so much gastrointestinal misery!). The chickpeas are an excellent source of protein, carbs and minerals, the olive oil and tahini throw in some good plant fats, and the garlic and lemon round it out with some high-powered antioxidants to boot. Did I mention it's also insanely delicious? Probably the most important quality, you can just disregard all those other details.
I would also like to acknowledge that there are some absolutely phenomenal "fancy hummus" recipes out there, incorporating everything from roasted red peppers to pumpkins to beets. And yeah, I've definitely showcased some stunningly pink beet hummus on my vegan Thanksgiving spread before, but that's not what this post is about. This post is about your basic, everyday, go-to, keep it simple hummus recipe. The one you can reach for again and again, memorize it, and make it in your sleep, because you're going to want to just keep making it.
Also, it's hella inexpensive. So you're going to want to just go ahead and strike hummus off your grocery list, because you need never spend $4.99 on 6oz of Sabra again. You can definitely make this with canned chickpeas or store bought tahini, but if you want to save even more money, go ahead and try cooking up your own dried chickpeas and grinding your own sesame seeds for tahini (tahini can get expensive). As an independent founding principal of a fledgling but totally awesome architecture studio, yep, I'm looking to save some more money. Here's how you can do it too:
You will need --
1-1/2 c cooked chickpeas (or one 13oz can)
1/4 c olive oil
1 whole lemon, juiced (or ~1/4 c lemon juice)
1 large clove of garlic
3 T tahini
3 T warm water
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp whole black peppercorns (or ground pepper is also fine)
Throw all of the above ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. I like to use my Blendtec Total Blender with the Twister Jar (it works just like a food processor, but you only need one gadget sitting on the counter, and you will never in your life need to buy another blender). Pro tip? Blendtec has these jars on sale with FREE shipping through the rest of October!
And...that's it. You're done! Serve it in a bowl, garnish it up if you like, throw it in a plastic take-out container for later -- whatever suits your fancy. This is your everyday go-to hummus, it need not be complicated :)