I think the reason why I love making hummus is because I feel like it’s the perfect healthy snack to always have on hand. Filling and delicious, it is also extremely cheap to make. If you have a can of chickpeas, a jar of tahini, and olive oil, you have a zillion flavor combinations to be had. Some of my favorites are beet hummus, edamame hummus, cilantro hummus, and recently- this bright and zesty meyer lemon hummus. But consider the contents of your fridge and whatever is looking sad: a half-empty jar of sundried tomatoes? Half a lemon? Wilting herbs? Leftover roasted vegetables? You are just one step away from creating an incredible flavor combination- and the fun is in deciding whether to leave it with some extra texture or to puree it to silky perfection (with extra water or olive oil).
Once you start to play around, you realize paying $4 for a small tub of garlic hummus is dumb. Grab yourself a 79 cent can of chickpeas, or two, if you’re having plenty of company. People are always impressed when they come over and find a tub of homemade hummus in my fridge. I love to put it out as an appetizer with carrots or crackers, to keep people from gnawing their fingers off while shaping gummy gnocchi, overdoing the chipotle peppers in chili, or crunchy sushi rice (all true stories that were horrible kitchen fails – but fun times – with friends). Not only does the hummus turn out exactly like I want it to, but it’s an easy skill to learn. Making hummus is a great way to introduce your friends to your newfound passion for cooking. After all, who doesn’t enjoy a good hummus appetizer?
Meyer Lemon Hummus (makes 1 and 1/2 cups)
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 7 tablespoons meyer lemon juice (3 lemons)
- 4 tbsp water
- 3/4 cup chickpeas (1 can)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 tsp salt
- zest of two lemons
Note: Meyer lemons are sweeter than your average lemon- they are in season now, and I found mine at Trader Joe’s. They are deep yellow with an orange tint when ripe. If you use regular lemons for this recipe, start with 3-4 tablespoons of lemon juice and add additional juice only after tasting. You could also juice a tangerine in place of some lemon juice to get a comparable flavor.
In a food processor or blender, begin by mincing the garlic cloves by dropping them through the top with the blade running. Add the tahini, meyer lemon juice, and water and process for about a minute until combined. Add the rest of the ingredients (chickpeas, olive oil, salt, and zest) and process 3-5 minutes until smooth. Add additional water if you prefer a thinner hummus.
Before serving, drizzle the hummus with additional olive oil and a pinch of salt. Serve with raw veggies, pita, or crackers.