I would like to thank whoever got me a mini food processor for our wedding (Mary and Eric, I think?). They gave me so much more than a food processor. They gave me a new hobby. God knows I need more hobbies than reading and conversing with my cat.
And that new hobby is making hummus on a weekly basis.
So I’m sharing my favorite recipe thus far, a twist on the classic chickpea/garbanzo bean-based recipe, replacing the traditional beans with an ingredient I am currently obsessed with: black beans.
Seriously, I think I’m determined to use black beans in a recipe every week. Roasted red pepper and black bean soup. Veggie quesadillas. Southwestern eggrolls that turned into Southwestern mini burritos because I couldn’t find eggroll wrappers anywhere. You name it.
Here is our simple family of ingredients for black bean hummus:
- 1 15-oz. can black beans (preferably low-sodium), drained and rinsed; reserve excess liquid
- 1 garlic clove
- 2 T tahini
- juice of 1/2 a lemon or lime (see how exact I am)
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4-1/2 tsp. paprika, to taste
- normal-sized pinch of cumin to generous amounts of cumin, to taste (cumin is like a comfort-taste to me)
- 1 T olive oil
- 1-3 T reserved bean liquid (ew)
Before we begin, let me tell you a story about buying tahini at my neighborhood grocery. Our grocery store is always stocked with the most eclectic of things, from dandelion and red quinoa to kosher almonds and frozen vegan TV dinners. You will never see a shortage of challah, and this time of year, you can buy matzah in 5-lb. boxes on clearance. But sometimes it is near impossible to find seemingly simple things: a normal block of mozzarella (as opposed to the authentic, gooey, pricey stuff) or a can of Rotel.
Once I asked a salesperson where they moved the cans of green chiles, and he told me they didn’t have them any more. I found them in another aisle — next to the Rotel! — amid pickled eggs and pickled radishes. Uh, OK. To this day, I don’t know where the non-gourmet, non-deli-counter lunch meat is located. This probably explains the hummus obsession. No matter. I’m sure I’ll stumble across it one day when fruitlessly searching for the skim milk.
Thus, when I went to look for tahini, I was not hoping for much when I approached an associate stocking up on canned tomatoes. “Excuse me, where is the tahini?” I held my breath. Immediately he answered, “Tahini? Aisle 4.” And sure enough, there it was, right next to the imported English “biscuits.” Go figure. What else should I expect from the place that shelves the tortillas, not in a logical spot next to the pita breads and wraps and other breads, but in the middle of the organic dairy section?
(Also, I am not being so discrete about my grocer, due to pictorial evidence of their spices in the above photograph.)
Anyway. Back to the “recipe.”
Black Bean Hummus:
1. Add all ingredients, except reserved bean liquid, to food processor/blender.
2. Press “blend” or “grind” until smooth.
3. Add reserved liquid, in very small amounts at a time, until desired consistency is reached.
4. Taste-test with cracker.
5. Adjust spices accordingly.
6. Taste-test with cracker again.
7. Consume an entire box of Triscuits with “taste tests.”
You see, cooking is both an art and a science.
(I like how there is a dirty wine glass creeping in this last photo. It adds an extra Mediterranean touch, don’t you think?)
Black bean hummus is delicious when enjoyed with a cracker, as seen above, but is also great with a selection of fresh, raw veggies. I have been enjoying hummus for lunch this week with red and green bell pepper slices and baby carrots. OK, and a few crackers, too.
I’m sure it goes great with tortilla chips, but I’m scared to try that. It could only result in endless “taste tests.”
This recipe is vegetarian-, vegan- and Lenten Friday-friendly. I would say with matzoh, it’s also Passover-friendly, depending on what branch of Judaism you follow. (For some, beans during this religious observance are not kosher. For other segments of Judaism, they’re just fine.) In short, hummus is for everyone who loves deliciousness!