Up until last weekend, I had spent the previous 18 months trying – unsuccessfully – to make hummus that I could enjoy. Finally, thanks to my friend Claire, I’ve discovered the secret: LOTS OF CUMIN. Many recipes use cumin, but generally only a pinch. It had never occurred to me to add more, since I didn’t think I particularly liked the taste. Surprise! I was totally wrong.

Another thing I found out by accident: if you want to get fancy and start from scratch with dried chick peas, you do actually have to cook them first!! Somewhere along the line I had gotten the misinformation that all you had to do was soak them overnight. And of course I never bothered to double check this info. The resulting hummus basically tasted like dirt.

The following recipe is really loose, and you should adjust the quantities to your own particular tastes, and feel free to add anything you like – lots of people really dig cilantro in hummus, although I personally think it is the food of the devil. Don’t let that stop you from using it.

1 can of chick peas
1 clove of garlic, minced (you can use more if you prefer but remember that it’s raw so it will taste really strong. Try using roasted garlic – I plan on doing this soon)
olive oil
1 TABLESPOON of cumin
1/3 c of tahini (get the stuff in a jar, not the fresh stuff: it lasts forever in the fridge)
salt and pepper
lemon juice (i use the juice from a whole lemon at least, sometimes two, but I like it really lemony)

Now, you can make this hummus using 3 different tools:
food processor
handheld immersion blender

If you have a really awesome blender, sure, use that. Mine, however, is a piece of shit so I use my Cuisinart food processor. A handheld blender is perfect too, as long as you don’t mind some chunks.

First, you want to emulsify the tahini and the lemon (pro tip here), then add the chickpeas, garlic and cumin. Blend to your desired consistency and then season to taste.

This makes a great meat replacement on sandwiches: spread it super thick, top with greens and red onion, plus some cucumber and tomato drizzled with balsamic.

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