Hummus is on a mission

Hummus on a chip

Surprising news from a recent survey: a quarter of Americans have never heard of hummus, let alone eaten it. (We are left to assume that everyone else in the world knows about it.) But one company is on a mission to change that metric. Sabra, which corners 60% of the hummus market share in the U.S., recently launched an effort to get people to try hummus, figuring that once they try it, they’ll like it (a good bet). Hummus food trucks are now criss-crossing the country to spread the gospel about the tasty chickpea and tahini puree.

Perhaps it is a coincidence, but the internet has been buzzing about hummus recently as well. Leite’s Culinaria is featuring hummus from Einat Admony, Fine Cooking is whipping up hummus with spiced beef and pine nuts, and Cooking Light offers 12 of their favorite hummus recipes. Perhaps you want to branch out a bit (purists, avert your gaze) and try the red lentil hummus from Martha Stewart Living Magazine, the spicy guacamole hummus party toasts from Eat, Live, Run or the spicy pumpkin hummus from Once Upon a Cutting Board. The EYB library features these and nearly 400 other delicious hummus recipes available online, from the traditional to the exotic.

Although hummus is frequently used as a dip, you don’t have to limit yourself to that use. Food and Wine shows us other ways to use it as well: as a sandwich spread, as part of a dressing, or on a pizza. What is your favorite hummus recipe, and how do you use it?

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  • ellabee  on  March 27, 2014

    Timely! I just made a small batch that clearly should have been twice as big; we demolished it with saltines. A lot of Sabra's hummus is made in Virginia (near Richmond), so for the sake of our employment rate I wish them well. But the best hummus is homemade, from home-cooked dried chickpeas. So cheap and easy that way that everyone should try it at least once. Key tip from recent experience: the silky result of removing the chickpea skins before mixing & mashing is worth the effort. When packing up the cooked chickpeas, I added cooking broth to cover the ones destined for hummus. The skins slipped off easily, and the beans benefited from the softening effect of having sat in liquid for a week. Purist here; just chickpeas, tahini, garlic pounded to a paste with a bit of salt, and lemon juice, with good olive oil drizzled over for serving, and chopped cilantro and/or pine nuts if available. Favorite version with something added: roasted red peppers.

  • darcie_b  on  March 27, 2014

    Thanks for the tip on the skins. I have some dried chickpeas in the pantry that are going to be used very soon.

  • hillsboroks  on  March 27, 2014

    I was actually very surprised at the number of Americans who have never heard of hummus. There may be major regional differences because here on the West Coast hummus has been a very common item on non-ethnic restaurant and pub menus and in all the grocery stores for at least 20 years. It is easy to make at home and you can be as creative as you like with adding ingredients. Once while making a big batch for my daughter's 18th birthday picnic I didn't like the taste and kept adding more tahini, lemon juice and garlic and still didn't like it. Then I remembered the plate of leftover grilled garden veggies (eggplants, zucchini, summer squash, onions and sweet peppers) that was sitting in the refrigerator and tossed those into the food processor. The final hummus was amazing and friends and family still talk about how great that giant bowl of hummus was. Those teenagers nearly licked the bowl clean getting every last bit of it. Hummus is such a great party dish, it tastes great, can be at room temperature for quite a while and satisfies the vegetarians in the group.

  • Lindsay  on  March 27, 2014

    Just made Ottolenghi's hummus from Jerusalem – pure and simple and incredibly good (I did add some cumin):

  • Cubangirl  on  March 27, 2014

    The best hummus trick I know is to make it in the Vitamix. I've never tried with dried chickpeas, so we use the canned ones from Trader Joe's. You don't have to have tahini (which we make in the vitamix as well) you just add the sesame seeds, to the beans, garlic, lemon, etc. I love it as a topping on meatloaf burgers and with a can of cold tuna in olive oil and TJ's Savory Thin Mini Crackers.

  • ellabee  on  March 28, 2014

    With the recent post on 'gear' in mind: hummus gets made rather than bought a whole lot more in this household since the arrival of the pressure cooker (for cooking the chickpeas) and the immersion blender (for mashing them up).

  • Ycool  on  March 29, 2014

    I fiddled around with a ton of hummus recipes before landing on my personal favorite; a mash up of a few recipes. My variety leaves out tahini (which makes the result lighter, but less creamy) and instead I fortify it with veggies and herbs, like shredded carrot and parsley. A little cumin and spiked with smidgen of cayenne — it's light and airy with a little kick.

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