A bowl of hummus and other Middle Eastern appetizers, or mezze. Photo courtesy Nanoosh Restaurant | New York City.
KAREN HOCHMAN is Editorial Director of THE NIBBLE.
Last Updated January 2013
Easy Hummus Recipe
It’s Easy To Customize Into Flavored Hummus, Too
CAPSULE REPORT: Why buy it in small containers when you can make large portions of this healthful snack and appetizer at home? Enjoy this easy hummus recipe and the options to make flavored hummus.
Easy Hummus Recipe
Hummus (also spelled hummos) is one of the most popular transplants from Middle Eastern cuisine. The nutritious* chickpea purée is a pervasive part of mezze platters in Greek and Turkish restaurants. It is also popular with vegetarians, an easy-to-make dip for crudités, and easily found as take-out in grocery stores and delis. If you want to make it yourself, all you need is a food processor to blend the following ingredients:
- 14 oz can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
- ½ cup tahini
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- ¼ cup water
- 1 teaspoon salt (we prefer sea salt)
- Optional seasonings: chipotle, jalapeño, parsley, za’atar
- Optional flavors: Add 1/8 to 1/4 cup of purée (see below)
You can flavor the hummus in any variety of ways: with artichoke hearts, black beans, cilantro, cumin, curry, jalapeño (ancho, chipotle or whatever chile you favor), parsley, olives, red bell pepper, sundried tomato or, as the expression goes, whatever floats your boat. Fresh hummus can be refrigerated, covered, for up to 1 week and frozen for up to 3 months.
*Chickpeas are high in calories but also high in protein and fiber, and a good source of copper, folate and manganese. One cup of chickpeas has 269 calories, 36 from fat (4g total fat). It is no saturated fat or cholesterol, 45g carbohydrate, 12g dietary fiber, 8g sugar, 15g protein, 11 mg of sodium.
Ways To Enjoy Hummus
Still, we think there are opportunities for this product.
- It’s a very healthful snack. While chickpeas and tahini are not low in calories, the calories are all excellent, including protein—not empty, not refined. Dip baby carrots or other raw vegetables and your nutritionist will be very pleased.
- It’s convenient to keep in the fridge, and whip out when visitors arrive for a glass of wine. While pita chips are nice, hummus works with any cracker, fresh-sliced or toasted baguette, bagel chips, etc.
- We really like it as a base for canapés. Spread some on top of a cracker or bread round and top it with absolutely anything: sliced olives, red pepper strips (fresh or roasted), hard-boiled egg, salami, sliced heart of palm, capers, shrimp, scallops, rare roast beef, chicken.... It’s a tasty “mortar.”
- It’s a good spread for vegetarian and vegan sandwiches. Add grilled vegetables and try our favorite flavor, Hot & Spicy (not too hot, just a nice amount of cayenne pepper).