a few months ago a new cookbook came out called, jerusalem by yotam ottolenghi. i had been able to preview parts of the book through a website i follow, 101cookbooks, and the beautiful images are what initially caught my eye. each page illustrates the every day lives of jerusalem's inhabitants and how food perhaps is one thing that unites them. here is one part of the introduction that has stuck with me:
"although jerusalemites have so much in common, food, at the moment, seems to be the only unifying force in this highly fractured place...it is sad to note how little daily interaction there is between communities, with people sticking together in closed, homogeneous groups. food, however, seems to break down those boundaries on occasion. you can see people shop together in food markets, or eat at one another's restaurants...it takes a giant leap of faith, but we are happy to take it - what have we got to lose? - to imagine that hummus will eventually bring jerusalemites together, if nothing else will."
i used the recipe from jerusalem in combination with the smitten kitchen variation of it. seriously, best. hummus. ever! however, achieving this totally-worth-it-hummus was no easy task. in deb perelman's (smitten kitchen) hummus post, she gave up the trick to smooth, creamy hummus: skinless chickpeas! who knew!? whether you are using dried chickpeas or ones out of the can, deb insists that one has to "pop" each chickpea individually out of its shell/skin. tedious? yes! worth the aggravation and work? yes!
adapted from jerusalem and smitten kitchen
makes a little under 2 cups
1 3/4 cups cooked, drained chickpeas (from a 15-ounce can) or a little shy of 2/3 cup dried chickpeas 1/2 teaspoon baking soda (for dried chickpeas only) 1/2 cup tahini paste 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, or more to taste 8 cloves roasted garlic 1/2 teaspoon table salt, or more to taste approximately 1/4 cup water
::for dried chickpeas::
in a bowl soak dried chickpeas with water that is twice their volume (just make sure the there's a few inches of water covering the chickpeas). leave them to soak overnight. the next day, drain the chickpeas. in a sautè pan over medium-high heat, combine the chickpeas with the baking soda (apparently this reduces the gassy effects of dried beans!). stir constantly for about 3 minutes. add 3 1/4 cups of water - bring to a boil. once it boils turn down to a slow simmer (i had my heat up too high, my beans got quite mushy and were hard to peel later on). use a slotted spoon to skim the foam from the surface. they will cook for 20-40 minutes. you will know that they're ready when they break easily between you thumb and finger.
drain the chickpeas. you can either let them cool on their own, or run them under cold water.
::for dried and canned chickpeas::
here is the important part: peel your peas! place the chickpeas between your thumb, forefinger and middle finger and pop them out one by one.
in a food processor or blender, blend the chickpeas until clumps form. next, add the tahini, lemon juice, salt, and roasted garlic, blend until pureed. add water by the tablespoon until you get desired consistency.
transfer the hummus to a bowl and let it sit in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. let it sit longer if possible to let the ingredients marinate.