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The key to creamy hummus

My fellow food writer Kathleen Purvis recently shared her advice for making hummus.

But let me share the two tips that I consider essential to ending up with a hummus as creamy as what you can order at any Middle Eastern deli.

First, save that liquid from the can of chickpeas when you drain it and add it to the hummus while pureeing it in the food processor. Second, puree the hummus longer than you think is necessary. Seriously, go work on the crossword for five minutes or longer and then the hummus will be perfect.

The only downside is you will become the go-to person for making hummus in your family, just as I have.

Hummus

1 (15½-ounces) can of chickpeas

4 garlic cloves

3 tablespoons tahini

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon salt

∑ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (a little more than 1 lemon)

3 tablespoons extra- virgin olive oil

¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper

Optional garnishes: olive oil, Greek olives, toasted pine nuts

Pita chips or bread

Set colander over a bowl. Drain chickpeas into colander. Set aside the chickpeas and the liquid separately.

Puree garlic in food processor, then add chickpeas, tahini, cumin, salt, lemon juice, oil and crushed red pepper and puree again. Let the processor run for 3 to 5 minutes, adding ¼ cup at a time of reserved chickpea liquid until the desired consistency is reached. (I often use the entire amount of reserved chickpea liquid.)

Serve with optional garnishes, if desired, and pita chips or pita bread.

Makes 12 servings.

– From “Aromas of Aleppo: The Legendary Cuisine of Syrian Jews,” by Poopa Dweck (Ecco, 2007).