23 – Highly-Addictive Hummus

Until very recently, I didn’t like hummus. Call me stubborn, but I’ve never been a fan of dips that are served cold (I know it’s not traditionally served cold, but often it’s been presented to me that way). I’m actually kind of embarrassed when I think of how long it took for me to give hummus a chance. My wife is constantly trying to push the boundaries of what I’ll eat, feeding me things like pears (hate them), herbed cream cheese (no thank you) and radishes (just…why?). I try to be a good sport, but once I’ve swallowed whatever she’s forced upon me, I usually reaffirm my distaste in a very audible manner. Hummus, however, fared a different fate than the others.

Yes, I guess that technically means that I was wrong on this particular issue, and my wife was right. I wish it were the case that I could somehow hide my newfound love of hummus, denying her the satisfaction of knowing her tactics have worked. Alas, she has already been tipped off, and I will forever live with her suggestions to try unfamiliar food I’m sure I’ll dislike. “But sweetheart, you said the same thing about hummus, and look how much you love it now” – there’s no way I won’t be hearing that on a continual basis until I’ve tried every last “you probably like it and just don’t know it yet” food imaginable.

Even better than discovering an exceptionally tasty dish, is discovering that it’s extremely easy to make at home. On top of that, it’s highly customizable. If I want a spicier experience, I can add some cayenne; if I want a bit more tang, I can simply increase the amount of lemon juice. That being said, I haven’t experimented yet. I’ve only made one version so far, but I’m excited to play around with the proportions and extra ingredients soon. For the time being, I’ll just share with you the one version that I made on Saturday night for my buddy’s birthday party.

The recipe that I used came from Joshua Bousel over at Yummly.com. It calls for homemade tahini, which is simply sesame seed paste that can apparently be quite expensive, but is very cheap and easy to make at home. After a quick search online, I found thekitchn.com’s how-to guide to making this paste, making me all set to start revving the engine on the food processor.

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Homemade tahini. I think next time I’ll do a bigger batch and reserve some for attempting baba ganoush.

I ended up doing half the steps in the wrong order, and also spilling a few ounces of chickpeas and probably 2 teaspoons worth of lemon juice before they reached their destination. As well, I used 6 tablespoons of olive oil in total to achieve the right consistency, which was a personal choice based on how thick I wanted the final product to be. I should probably mention as well that I chose grapeseed oil and unroasted white sesame seeds for making the tahini, just to be as thorough as possible with this blogging (though don’t ask me if the seeds were hulled or not, as I can’t for the life of me remember).

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This photo helps illustrate my desired thickness for hummus. Having eaten very little hummus so far in my life, I have no idea how my consistency compares to most others.

The end product was so addictive that instead of eating a proper lunch today at work, I simply ate leftover hummus and baby carrots throughout the day. Being in a rush to make the hummus and get to my buddy’s party, the pictures are definitely lacking for this one. That being said, my personal opinion is that taste trumps looks every time – a lucky mentality for a mediocre food photographer.

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The final product. The larger one on the left is topped with some Hungarian paprika and garnished with parsley, while the smaller one has some cayenne pepper on top.

Anyways, I’m off to make another batch for tomorrow – this time experimenting with roasted jalapenos! Wish me luck, and “happy cooking!”.

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