When Smitten Kitchen’s Deb Perelman wrote about the carrot soup I adapted recently into parsnip-carrot soup, she also mentioned she was working on hummus with a new technique. Smitten Kitchen readers waited with bated breath, but thankfully not long, since her recipe for Ethereally Smooth Hummus followed just a few days later.
Perelman explains that the secret to really smooth hummus is simple but tedious: you peel the outer coating of the chickpeas. It’s not hard to do: grip a chickpea between your thumb and your next two fingers and gently squeeze until the chickpea pops out of its skin. She says it only takes about 9 minutes to work your way through the equivalent of a 15 oz. can, and that’s probably about how long it took me. I did it while listening to Frank Ocean and The Black Keys, which made the time go by.
For my recipe, in addition to peeling the chickpeas, I wanted to give my hummus a smoky flavor. A couple weeks ago, the Washington Post ran a story about smoked olive oil, which I was captivated by. I immediately ordered a bottle, made by The Smoked Olive.
Smoky Smooth Hummus
Adapted from Ethereally Smooth Hummus, Smitten Kitchen
1 15 oz. can chickpeas, drained, rinsed and peeled
1/2 cup tahini
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (juice from 1 lemon)
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. water
2 tbsp. smoked extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp. paprika (for extra smokiness, use smoked paprika)
Olive (optional garnish)
Pita bread (at least 4-6 pieces), cut into triangles (eighths)
Za'atar spice blend (optional)
Carrot and celery sticks
1. Add chickpeas to a bowl of a food processor. Turn on and blend for about a minute until the mixture becomes clumpy. Scrape down the side and pulse a few more times. Add the tahini, garlic, lemon juice and salt and blend until puréed. With the machine running, stream in the water until the hummus has the desired texture (adjust amount of water as necessary).
2. Spoon hummus into a bowl. Drizzle olive oil on top and sprinkle with paprika. Top with an olive. Serve with pitas which, if desired, can be lightly broiled with olive oil and a sprinkle of za'atar, or carrot and celery sticks.