My brother recently bought 64 ounces of tahini. 64 ounces. Do you know how much tahini that is? Evidently, I’m not the only one in my family who makes hummus at home. And, evidently, I have a brother with way too much cupboard space.
Now, can we talk a little more about tahini? It is a mess! Correction: it is a mess for ME to use. Because I get frustrated while stirring it and end up spilling it all over the place and uttering some unkind words under my breath (or out loud, but I try to keep things civilized depending on my audience at the moment). The bottom is super thick and the top is thin oil, so you have to somehow stir the unmovable bottom into the thin, liquid top. Ridiculous. Let’s just say that it’s a good thing the final product is so delicious.
Hummus tastes best when you eat it the day after you make it. It just gives the flavors time to work together and become friends. So, if possible, make it the day before you plan on serving it.
1 can chickpeas (a.k.a garbanzo beans), drained with liquid reserved
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbsp tahini, well stirred (it’s a sesame paste that can usually be found either near the peanut butter or in the “ethnic” aisle of the grocery store)
3-4 Tbsp lemon juice depending on how much you like lemon
5 shakes of hot sauce
1/2 tsp salt, more for taste
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
2 Tbsp olive oil, plus extra for drizzling on top
Paprika for topping
In a food processor, process the chickpeas and garlic until they are almost ground. Add in the tahini, lemon juice, hot sauce, salt, pepper flakes, and olive oil and pulse until everything is combined. Pulse in the reserved chickpea liquid (slowly!) until you get the consistency that you like. The more liquid you use, the creamier – and thinner – it will be.
At this point, if possible, refrigerate the hummus in an airtight container overnight.
Transfer to a bowl and top with olive oil and paprika. Serve with pita bread, veggies, tortilla chips, or whatever else you happen to enjoy!
Source: adapted pretty loosely from Cook’s Illustrated (May/June 2008)