We’re watching the first season of Mad Men these days (don’t spoil it, friends), and just saw the episode where Pete Campbell exchanges a wedding gift–a ceramic lettuce leaf and red pepper atrocity of a “chip and dip”–for a shotgun. Now how will they serve the sour cream and onion dip?
While it’s hard to beat a good sour cream and onion dip (with a bag of Ruffles), it’s not exactly a snack I’d feel good about offering on a regular basis. Enter the bowl of hummus. I’m sure hummus was unheard of by most people in the Mad Men days, but now it’s everywhere, and every grocery store has competing brands and multiple flavors. Roasted garlic! Red pepper! Mild! Spicy!
Hummus, pita chips and baby carrots was standard fare at playgroup gatherings when my kids were toddlers. My kids still love hummus, and we do, too. I like to make my own, because it’s easy and significantly cheaper, especially when I start with dried chickpeas instead of canned (though canned work perfectly fine). I also know exactly what’s in it, and can season it to our taste.
I usually cook beans in the slow cooker, preferably overnight. It takes about one minute of prep, and the next morning you can let it cool and divide the cooked beans into containers to freeze or use right away. It takes half of a one-pound bag of dried chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans) for a single batch of hummus. No need to soak ahead of time, either–10 hours on low and they are just right.
Rinse 1 lb. dried chickpeas, and put them in a slow cooker with 8 cups of cold water and 1 Tbsp. kosher salt. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours, until the chickpeas are tender. Use about half of the cooked chickpeas for the following recipe. Freeze the rest or make falafel to go with the hummus!
3 cups cooked chickpeas
3/4 cup-1 cup cooking liquid or water
juice of one lemon
1/2 cup tahini
2 garlic cloves warmed in 2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 cup fresh parsley
salt and pepper to taste
Add all ingredients to the bowl of a food processor (start with the smaller amount of liquid and add more if necessary) and process until smooth (or leave it a little chunky if you prefer). Taste and adjust the seasoning.