i already know the question exists out there that if chickpeas aren't involved in a hummus recipe, does it even qualify as hummus? my personal answer is yes, yes it does in fact qualify. there are many iterations of certain recipes where i draw the line, but when you can modify a beloved food with an ingredient to slightly alter it, then i wholeheartedly think that it has a place at the table.
i first had a sunflower hummus at one of my favorite brooklyn restaurants, vinegar hill house. frank and i went for our birthdays one warm september night and ordered it for our appetizer. theirs was a combination of chickpeas and sunflowers seeds, and they topped it with anise oil and roasted summer squash, but i still remember the hummus' flavor and silky smooth texture. it's been almost 3 years since that meal, and i've thought about making a sunflower seed hummus, sans chickpeas, in that time. a few weeks ago i pulled the trigger, and i'm so excited i did :)
first, there are few things to make this hummus the very best it can possibly be:
- a high-speed-blender is key to making it super smooth.
- good quality tahini is also pretty crucial (i highlight a few of my favorite brands below).
- if you have the time, make hummus ahead of time. i try to plan a couple days out when i i'm going to make it, having it sit in the fridge to let the flavors meld make all the difference (in this hummus, but all other hummus recipes as well). i prefer to eat homemade hummus 2-3 days after it was prepared, it's just that much tastier.
i will say, you do have to be a fan of sunflowers seed's flavor in order to enjoy this hummus. i personally love it; it's nutty and full-bodied, and totally luscious. a bit thicker than its chickpea hummus counterpart, but still fluffy and smooth like a good hummus should be. i like sprinkling the top with za'atar, adding a glug of good quality extra virgin olive oil, as well a pinch of flaky sea salt. you could definitely add your own toppings, or add a specific spice into the blending process that you prefer, but i try to refrain from taking too much flavor away from the lovely combination of flavors here.
favorite tahini brands: (most of these i was able to find in certain neighborhoods in brooklyn or nyc, but fortunately they're also available online as well :) . i also should note that i use tahini almost everyday, and therefore i store it at room temperature, which i prefer. but if you use it less frequently, then i would suggest storing in the fridge.)
- beirut - my brooklyn go-to (but you apparently you can purchase it online, too)
- seed + mill
- 365 - an everyday grocery store go-to
- al wadi
big hummus-y hugs!! xo
sunflower seed & black garlic hummus
black garlic can be hard to come by. if you can't find it, and you don't mind another step, roast a head of garlic and use 2-3 cloves. but if you don't want another step, simply use regular garlic.
| makes just over 2 cups hummus |
- 1 cup raw sunflower seeds, soaked overnight (or at least 4 hours), drained and rinsed
- 1/2 cup tahini
- 2-3 tablespoons lemon juice (from 1 large lemon, or 2 small lemons)
- 4 cloves black garlic cloves (or 2-3 cloves roasted garlic cloves, or 1-2 cloves regular garlic, roughly chopped) *see notes above
- fine sea salt
- fresh ground pepper
- filtered water, to thin
- extra virgin olive oil
- a pinch of flaky sea salt
- herb flowers
- combine the seeds, tahini, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, garlic, salt (i start with about 1 teaspoon, and add more later if needed), a couple grinds of pepper, and 1/2 cup water in the container of a high-speed blender (if you don't have a blender, a food processor will do, but the hummus will not have a silky smooth texture). whiz everything together on high, scraping down the sides of the blender as you go. add more water as needed to get everything blended and smooth.
- once it's blended to your desired consistency (i tend to like it a bit on the thinner, silkier side), taste and adjust the salt, and lemon juice, if needed.
- scrape the hummus into an air-tight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
- serve with a sprinkle of za'atar, a swirl of olive oil, a pinch of flaky sea salt, and herb flowers to garnish. grilled or toasted bread is optional, but very much preferred ;)