I don’t know about you, but I love hummus. It was love at first taste, really. I grew up in a fairly meat-and-taters family, and things exotic like hummus, well, didn’t see too much of that until I ventured out into the world on my own. Wow! I had no idea what I was missing.
Middle Eastern fare is so wonderful for vegans because it is usually well balanced with lots of yummy protein, fresh veggies, great grains- you name it! And generally there are plenty of super-easy dishes you can make, often in advance, making it a great choice for busy days & dinner parties. Despite the facility of many Middle-Eastern dishes, well, I often go without. One of the biggest reasons I used to go for long stretches of time sans hummus was because I don’t like buying veggies & fruits out of season for obvious ecological & nutritional reasons. When I was living in the desert south west of the United States, lemons, limes, etc. literally grew on trees (sometimes in my yard!). Citrus was very easy to find, and the travel time was nil, bursting with Arizona-sunshine-freshness. Now that I’m near Paris, well, not so much. I also eschew canned beans. I think canning is an amazing invention, don’t get me wrong, and there are tons of circumstances where cans have saved lives (or meals), but there is just no comparing boiled dried beans with canned. There is such a difference in the flavour & texture… but I really had a hankern’ for some hummus yesterday.
What to do?
Ignore your craving…
Yeah, well, that worked for a while, but dinner time was approaching and I had no plan, and no energy after a very full day. What to do? I pulled out one of my favorite cookbooks to consult one of my tried-and-true hummus recipes, and feigned surprise when I saw I didn’t have some of the most basic ingredients, notably lemon and lime juice. Huh. I glanced at the glass jars containing all our dried grains and beans, and felt tired just thinking about boiling up the beans, and I realized that it would take at least and hour and a half to have fresh-cooked garbanzos (I no longer soak, it’s totally not necessary- and I never, ever would have believed that, I was a die-hard bean soaker. I’ll share that little secret in another post). I started digging through our pantry, and low and behold, I came across a few deserted cans of garbanzos, just longing to be used in something tasty and delicious.
I started throwing together a bit of this and a bit of that, fully aware that it was a rather dangerous enterprise without lemon juice, etc., but hey, I threw caution to the wind, and am I ever glad I did! Last night we had the best hummus we’ve ever! It was so good, really, and so basic. Because I’m a hummus lover I’ve had them all: green olive hummus, sun dried tomato hummus, etc., but I guess sometimes we get so bogged down in the extras we forget the subtly of the most basic pleasures.
Here is my hummus recipe. The total preparation time was under 8 minutes, and that was with 2-year-old guppy helping me.
In A Snap Hummus
- 7 cloves garlic, diced
- 1 heaping teaspoon paprika
- about 1 lb./500g cooked garbanzo beans/chick peas (if you pour them into a big bowl & fill with water & swirl around with your hand, you’ll loosen many of the skins, making them much easier to digest)
- 1/3 cup cider vinegar
- 1/3 cup rice vinegar
- 1/2 sesame tahini
- 2 or 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin (more or less to taste, for me it’s more)
- 1/2 to 3/4 cups plain soy milk
- salt to taste
Throw it all in your food processor, adding the soy milk as you go to help get the right consistency. My food processor is in food processor heaven, so I was using the world’s smallest food processor last night- it only holds about two and a half cups of stuff, so I did mine in shifts. I would mostly empty the bowl into a larger bowl, then add more beans & soy milk & salt, then repeat. Once it was all blended I just used a spoon to mix the various batches together. It was amazing! And like I said, under 10 minutes!
We set out a plate with carrot sticks, cucumber hunks, green olives, red pepper slices, pita triangles, and red grapes, and it was fantastic!