Hummus Rainbow

Spring has finally sprung and if you are anything like me, you’re ready to open up your home, sweep off the deck and have friends over once again. There’s no easier way to start entertaining than with hummus and a bag of pita chips. But why not step it up a notch and experiment with making your own? You’ll find that a bag of dried chickpeas (yes, it really is best to start with dried beans rather than canned but you can sub in the latter in a pinch) goes a long way and the flavor possibilities are limited only by your imagination.

The recipe below is for one batch of hummus that can be kept plain (it will still be better than any hummus you would find in the store) or flavored in any of the four varieties. If looking at the photo below and starting with the top left, we’ve got spicy red pepper-harissa; beet; carrot-horseradish; sweet pea; and plain or traditional, in the center. Even the traditional can be amped up with more garlic or more lemon, if that’s your preference.

I was so excited by these recipes and the accompanying article that I read in Tasting Table that I decided to quadruple the amount of dried beans I’d soak so that I could be sure to have enough beans to make all of the varieties. Word to the wise…do not try that at home! Four pounds of beans are relatively unassuming dry, yet completely unwieldy once soaked. I would say, double the beans at most and pick and choose which varieties you’d like to start with or just divide ingredients a bit and make less of each type of hummus. The recipes below yield a nice balance of flavor but are forgiving and a little more beet to chickpea ratio, for example, wouldn’t make much of a difference. Have fun experimenting!

Hummus Rainbow

Hummus Rainbow

Hummus Rainbow
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Ingredients
  1. Traditional Hummus
  2. 1 lb dried chickpeas, soaked overnight and drained
  3. 1 Tbsp kosher salt, plus more to taste
  4. 1 tsp baking soda
  5. ½ c tahini
  6. 6 Tbsp lemon juice
  7. 6 Tbsp olive oil, plus more to garnish
  8. 4 garlic cloves, mashed into a paste
  9. freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  10. pita chips, for serving
Instructions
  1. In a 4-quart pot, cover the pre-soaked and drained chickpeas with 2 inches of cold water.
  2. Stir in the salt and baking soda, then bring to a boil over high heat.
  3. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the chickpeas are tender, 45 to 50 minutes.
  4. Drain the beans, reserving 2 tablespoons of the liquid.
  5. Transfer the cooked beans to the bowl of a food processor.
  6. Add the reserved cooking liquid, tahini, lemon juice, olive oil and garlic.
  7. Purée until smooth, then season with salt and pepper.
  8. Transfer to a bowl and garnish with olive oil, then serve with pita chips.
  9. To Make Beet Hummus
  10. 2 medium roasted red beets, peeled and roughly chopped
  11. ¼ c olive oil
  12. 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  13. + Traditional Hummus
  14. In a blender, purée the beets, olive oil and vinegar until smooth, scraping as needed.
  15. Stir into the traditional hummus.
  16. To Make Carrot Hummus
  17. 2 medium carrots, grated
  18. ½ c olive oil
  19. 2 Tbsp white prepared horseradish
  20. 2 Tbsp orange juice
  21. 2 tsp turmeric
  22. + Traditional Hummus
  23. In a blender, purée the carrots, olive oil, horseradish, orange juice and turmeric until smooth, scraping as needed. Stir into the traditional hummus.
  24. To Make Pea Hummus
  25. 2 c fresh or frozen peas
  26. 2 c pea tendrils
  27. ¼ c chervil
  28. ¼ c olive oil
  29. 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  30. + Traditional Hummus
  31. In a blender, purée the peas, pea tendrils, chervil, olive oil and lemon juice until smooth, scraping as needed. Stir into the traditional hummus.
  32. To Make Red Pepper Hummus
  33. 2 roasted red peppers (1 c)
  34. ¼ c harissa
  35. ½ c olive oil
  36. 1 Tbsp sweet paprika
  37. + Traditional Hummus
  38. In a blender, purée the peppers, harissa, olive oil and paprika until smooth, scraping as needed. Stir into the traditional hummus.
Notes
  1. When making hummus from dried beans, you can never soak the beans for too long. The softer they are when you go to boil, the better. So put them in a soaking pot the day before and just forget about them until you're ready to cook.
Adapted from Tasting Table
Adapted from Tasting Table
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