It’s amazing how a simple kitchen utensil can motivate a cook. Take for instance, a glass lemon reamer. This old-fashioned beauty is simple and functional, yet oddly went out of fashion when replaced with an electric citrus juicer, or in my minimalist kitchen, a fork. Granny taught me how to roll the lemon, then twist the tines of a fork into the lemon to release the juice. So when my friend brought me this antique juicer, I was inspired to try it right away.
I had just been soaking garbanzo beans to make hummus. Did you ever wonder why there is only one letter difference between Hummus and Humus. What do these two have in common? One feeds the soil, while the other feeds people. Both are healthy, and made from pure, natural ingredients. Hummus is a Mediterranean spread, made with garbanzo beans, lemon juice, garlic and sesame Tahini. While for gardeners, humus is also known as mature compost.
I used to buy Hummus at my local farmers market, spending over $4. for a small 8 ounce container. Sure it was delicious, and saved me the effort, but when I realized I could make my own for half the price, it changed my buying habit. Making my own, I also have the flexibility over how much garlic and herbs to add, and as a lover of all things lemon, I could easily squeeze extra for my recipe.
Recipes abound for making hummus, so I am sure the world has not been waiting for mine. But here it is, and I encourage you to give it a try. To save time, you can buy Garbanzo in a can. But honestly, soaking a cup of dried beans overnight and simmering until soft is not really too hard to do. The flavor difference is minimal, however, the money you save and the healthy way it makes you feel after you eat it spread it on crackers or toast is worth the effort.
Do the math: Sesame tahini is expensive and it may discourage you from trying this recipe because you don’t want to pay $6.00 for a single jar. You may say – I thought I was saving money. Keep in mind that there are typically 15 servings per jar, reducing the cost to just .40 per recipe. When you buy dried garbanzo beans instead of canned, you save almost $1.
Cost to make: $2.50 / 8 servings / .31 per serving
Time to make: less than 5 minutes (to assemble)
Hummus Makes about 2 cups
1 cup dried chickpeas: soaked overnight,they will expand to 2 cups
2 (or more) cloves garlic, smashed and chopped
2 tablespoons sesame tahini
2 lemons, juiced ( makes 1/4 cup)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Grinding black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 small hot pepper (optional)
Soak the garbanzo beans overnight in water to cover. Drain, and rinse out any dirt or gleanings from the dried beans. Place in a saucepan with water, again to cover, and simmer for 45 minutes until tender. Add more water if needed.
Place in a food processor along with a tablespoon or so of the cooking water to add a creamy texture. Add the garlic, lemon juice, oil and seasoning. Process for several minutes until very smooth; this works best when the chickpeas are still relatively warm. Add more cooking water as needed to get a creamy consistency. The hummus will thicken when chilled, so err on the side of thin.
Taste and adjust the flavor to suit your taste, adding more lemon juice, or tahini, or cumin and hot peppers. Transfer to a serving bowl, drizzle with a good olive oil, and serve with pita triangles, or carrot sticks. Cover and refrigerate any leftovers and the flavor will have deepened the next day.