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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

STOP! It's Hummus Time!!!

"That's word because you know. U can't touch this. Oh-oh oh oh-oh-oh. Break it down. Oh-oh oh oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh. STOP! It's hummus time!"

Hummus is soooooo cool that even MC Hammer sang about it! Okay not really, but hummus is pretty AWESOME! We've seen a wide-spread popularity of this new favorite condiment all over the United States so let's get a little background about it first. (Don't we all really like to know what we're eating?)

So hummus is Middle Eastern and Arabic in origin and is generally made from mashed up chickpeas (garbanzo beans), tahini (sesame paste), lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. The earliest record of a similar hummus recipe recorded was in Cairo in the 13th century. That's pretty damn old!

Good news is that hummus is pretty high in vitamin C and iron. The chickpeas are a good source of iron and dietary fiber and the sesame seeds from the tahini paste are an excellent source of amino acids. Hummus is very useful in vegetarian and vegan diets because it serves as a complete protein when eaten with bread. (Unless you have a gluten allergy! Whomp whomp!)

In Syria and Lebanon, hummus is traditionally served on a "mezzeh" table along with the likes of falafel and tabbouleh. Hummus is equally popular in Israel because most of the ingredients can be combined with meat and dairy meals following the Jewish dietary laws. In Palestine, hummus is traditionally served with olive oil, mint leaves, paprika, parsley or cumin or in another preparation uses yogurt in the place of tahini and butter in the place of olive oil, known as laban ma' hummus.

I think one of the greatest things is that for awhile hummus was just known as one of those ethnic ingredients that you could only get at certain ethnic restaurants but with the growth in a very diverse food culture you can find it as an appetizer, as a spread on a sandwich, or even as a "sauce" on pizza or flat bread.

I happen to absolutely love it and could eat it everyday of my life. To me it's something that tastes delicious but has the added bonus of being healthy as well! (WINNING!) So as a chef I'm always looking for new creative recipes for it especially because I use it so much at the workplace as a garnish. Below you'll find a very simple, basic recipe for hummus and I'll leave you with some fun options and ideas to try out your very own funky hummus creations!


Prep Time: 10 minutes

1-16 oz. can of chickpeas or garbanzo beans
1/4 cup of liquid from the can of chickpeas
3-5 Tablespoons of lemon juice (depending on taste and preference)
1 1/2 Tablespoons of tahini
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 Tablespoons of olive oil (I only use extra-virgin)
To taste: salt and pepper


  1. Place all of the ingredients except the oil in a food processor. Turn the machine on and let it start running. *Just a note, I like to use my immersion blender to make hummus because I think it gives it a little bit more of a coarse texture that has a bit more substance to it.*
  2. While the machine is running, slowly start adding in the olive oil. Continue to blend until a nice paste forms.
  3. Remove from the processor and season to taste with salt and pepper. (I wait until the end to do this to make sure I adjust my seasonings properly.) At this point you can add more seasoning if desired and more lemon juice as well.
  4. Cover and refrigerate and use however you desire!

Hummus Variations: (Beware the list is long and distinguished!!!)

  • For a spicier hummus you can add a couple of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce.
  • Add a few roasted red peppers and cilantro for more of a southwest kick.
  • You can add spinach and feta cheese for a Mediterranean/Greek spin on it. (I would add some pepperoncini's to this one as well for a bit of a tang).
  • For an Italian inspired hummus add sun-dried tomatoes and prepared pesto.
  • For a saltier version you can add black olives or even kalamata olives. (Please make sure they're pitted)!
  • Shredded zucchini is always a fun raw vegetable to add to hummus and gives it more of a vegetable-y taste.
  • Canned artichokes (be careful they're expensive) and basil are a nice combo for a more Italian-inspired hummus.
  • I really like to play with other beans as well when I'm making hummus. For it to really be called a hummus it needs garbanzo beans but play around with adding white beans, kidney beans, black beans, edamame, hominy, pinto beans, etc...
  • Add pickled beets, but beware it will have a slightly Pepto Bismol-ish hue to it! Great for Valentine's Day though!
  • The white bean and sweet potato hummus that I made for work one week was a real hit! Make sure to steam the sweet potatoes ahead of time.
  • You can also combine one of my favorite words of all time, babaganoush with hummus and you have an awesome eggplant/hummus combo.
  • Adding prepared or homemade guacamole to hummus is always a hit and makes an outstanding topping on hamburgers.
  • And finally the winner of all winners has been my sweet pea, edamame and mango sweet chili hummus. Use the basic hummus recipe and add peas, edamame, mangoes (I use frozen that have been thawed) and the addition of sweet chile sauce. So refreshing for the summer and you better double the recipe because people will be eating by the bucket-full!!!
So there are some interesting ideas that you can play around with. I'm so glad that hummus has gained popularity and as far as I'm concerned it'll stay that way as long as I'm still creating new recipes. If you have any questions please feel free to e-mail me at:

As always, BON APPETIT and ENJOY!!!

1 comment:

  1. This is an awesome post, Stacey! Now I know what to do with the INDUSTRIAL sized garbanzo bean can left over from the wedding! LOL! You're right.... the mango hummus is a winner from Tonga to Italy to the USofA!