The Many, Many Ways to Love Hummus
A staple of Middle Eastern cuisine, hummus is creamy, endlessly customizable and packed with nutrients, including healthy fats, fiber and protein. If you love hummus already, there are countless tasty new iterations you can try. And if you're still a hummus holdout, please have a read -- I hope to sway your opinion.
If you're completely new to hummus and want to get a sense of what the traditional flavor tastes like, start with a base recipe such as Ina Garten's Hummus (it only takes 10 minutes to prepare).
There's also Alton Brown's Hummus for Real, which is made with the traditional sesame paste, tahini.
If you don't have access to tahini, this Hummus Dip is a similar recipe that uses sesame oil instead.
With the base in place, you can add a range of ingredients to transform the flavor of the hummus: roasted garlic, rosemary or thyme, za’atar, sun-dried tomatoes, olives, chipotle chiles, pesto or Sriracha. Experiment and enjoy!
While the chickpea is the traditional bean of choice as the base for hummus, modern-day cooks tweak the recipe with different types of beans and vegetables as an alternative. There are endless possibilities, including:
Pita is the classic dipper for hummus, and while extremely tasty, it can lead to snacking on more calories than you care to. Consider pairing hummus with some crunchy lower-calorie alternatives like carrots, celery, cucumber or broccoli.
Hummus can also be far more than a dip. Here are a few ways to use it:
• As a creamy replacement to egg yolks and mayo in deviled eggs. (I usually mix one or two yolks into the hummus and discard the rest.)
• As a binder, for a new take on chicken, tuna or egg salad. Make the hummus with spices that typically go well with the protein, such as sage for chicken.
• A dollop n chili instead of sour cream, as a dairy-free alternative. I first tried this at Angelica Kitchen in New York City, and it was delicious.
• As a base for stuffing endive: For handheld appetizers, try endive spears with a small smear of hummus and a spoonful of tabbouleh on top.