Bean-Less, Sunflower Seed & Black Garlic Hummus / by Lindsey | Dolly and Oatmeal

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:

  1. a high-speed-blender is key to making it super smooth.
  2.  good quality tahini is also pretty crucial (i highlight a few of my favorite brands below).  
  3. 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.)

  1. beirut - my brooklyn go-to (but you apparently you can purchase it online, too)
  2. soom 
  3. seed + mill
  4. 365 - an everyday grocery store go-to
  5. al wadi
  6. roland 

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

optional garnishes:

  • za'atar
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • a pinch of flaky sea salt
  • herb flowers


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. scrape the hummus into an air-tight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.  
  4. 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 ;)

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