Prepared: June 27, 2018
An entire head of garlic! Really. Our youngest son, daughter-in-law and grand kids are out west for a summer vacation. They are vegetarians; I’m not as you can tell from my recipes. But I wanted to make a healthy, tasty vegetarian dish we can enjoy for a few days. I’ve blogged about our regular hummus make with canned beans and I’ve even made hummus from dried beans before. I wanted something a little different this time and I’ve had this Serious Eats hummus recipe floating around for about a year. The recipe even gets around the step of removing the skin from the beans after cooking – that’s a big time saver. Since I had some Rancho Gordo dried garbanzo beans, the stars were aligned.
I’ve been on a Rancho Gordo bean tear for a few weeks now.
The first step is to soak with some salt and baking soda overnight.
Serious Eats tells us that baking soda helps soften the beans. That is just what we want here since we will be blending the beans. It would probably be good for refried beans, by maybe not as good idea if you will be eating your beans whole, from a bowl or plate.
Other than a bit more baking soda, att this point our process looks like a regular bean recipe; cook with some vegetables.
Only two cloves of garlic here; there is more – so much more – to come.
Everyone into the pool.
Once this gets to simmering, it smells like a Middle Eastern restaurant. Those garbanzo beans smell sooo good!
While they are simmering we turn our attention to the customized tahini paste.
Normally when I include a picture of the ingredients (like that above) a head of garlic means “some garlic” Not today – the whole thing is going in.
J. Kenji López-Alt – the head of Serious Eats – assures us that the lemon juice will remove the sharpness of the raw garlic you’d expect. We put the unpeeled cloves into the blender with the lemon juice and gave it a whirl. Then passed everything through a fine mesh strainer to remove solids. Then we whsk together the tahini paste and cumin with the garlic-lemon juice and add a tad bit of water a bit at a time to get a loose paste.
We set that aside until the beans finish.
I tasted them at this point and I was tempted to toss the idea of hummus and just start stuffing garbanzo beans into my mouth. After reserving the liquid and discarding the onion. celery and bay leaves, The beans, carrot, and garlic cloves get their time in the blender with enough reserved water to cover. I have a nice sturdy, strong Vitamix blender and it had to work to get this blended; although I couldn’t get that nice blender vortex going, I did get them blended into a nice smooth milkshake-like mixture. J. Kenji López-Alt says the key to smooth hummus is blend while the beans are warm. Read the recipe linked above to get the full details on how to accomplish this.
The next step is to transfer the bean mixture to a large bowl.
It almost looks like butterscotch; it’s much darker than the beans were at the beginning.
We then whisk the saved tahini paste into the beans; it lightens up and voilà – hummus
The traditional way to serve is to put it into a shallow pasta bowl and drizzle some olive oil and maybe a spritz of paprika on top. After a long flight from the midwest, the kids were hungry and tired so we just put some in small bowls and ate it with pita chips and carrots. Serious Eats is right: neutralizing the garlics with the lemon juice produces hummus with a rich garlic undertone without that sharp bite.
Wow; this is good stuff. It certainly takes longer and is more effort than making from canned beans, but if you have the time, go for this.
I’m tempted to use a full 5 stars; I wish I could find a half-star to add.