The debate on all things hummus can be ferocious and passionate. Where was hummus originated? Who makes the best hummus? When to eat it? To chill or not to chill? What should be included in the classic hummus? Olive oil? Greek yogurt? Cumin?
I’m not impartial as the debate goes. My one and only hummus recipe on this blog was from Yotam Ottolenghi, whom I greatly admire. He insists that hummus should only include the key ingredients of: dried chickpeas, tahini, bicarbonate of soda, garlic, lemon juice and salt. And nothing else. Olive oil should be on the hummus, but not in it.
I’m happy to see that David Lebovitz’s recipe of hummus in My Paris Kitchen follows a similar approach. At Cook-the-book-fridays, we are put to task this week to make hummus. I served up David’s version of hummus with some homemade flat bread with olive oil drizzled on top.
Making hummus is yet another example showing that homemade food is superior in so many ways. You have control over the ingredients, the process and, ultimately, better tasting and healthier food.
The recipe starts with soaking dried chickpeas overnight. Cook the chickpeas in three times as much water until very tender. It took me a litter over an hour. After straining the cooked chickpeas, they were blitzed with the rest of the ingredients in the Vita-mix until the hummus was completely and utterly smooth. That took seconds to do in the high-power blender. I added some of the cooking liquid when the blender sounded a bit labored to get the texture desired.
Besides the hummus, the liquid from cooking the chickpeas is one of the most useful and amazing byproducts I’ve ever come across—the aquafaba. I have used the chickpea liquid to make vegan whipped cream and meringue cookies. I carefully saved every drop of the cooking liquid for later use.
“Beans, beans, the magical fruit
And useful, to boot!
Save that canned water,
And whip it to foam
It’s an egg-white replacement
Made right at home!”
Finally, a bean-water mayonnaise called Fabanaise came to market in early 2016. It’s one of the first commercial aquafaba products I know of. In recent months, “aquafaba” has been added to the Oxford Dictionaries database.
The unintended consequence of writing a food blog is now sustaining a green kitchen ecosystem. I’d not have anticipated that. The involvement is going beyond cooking good food for family and company. It has become a style of preserving and integrating the food supply chain on the home front. This summer, I’ve expanded my herb garden and started an organic heirloom vegetable garden. Composting is part of the effort to recycle some of the kitchen and yard wastes and to improve the soil. As a result, I’m feeling more connected to and mindful of the plate of food I put on the table.
This post is also shown here at foodgawker.