"This dip is tastiest when prepared from dried chickpeas, still warm from the pot it has been cooked in, and served with fresh pita bread," says Chef Ilene Rosenblum Guttman, whose traditional hummus recipe appears in the Taglit-Birthright Israel cookbook, Israel to Go: Look & Cook Book, a pocket culinary tour through Israel. The cookbook features 20 specially selected recipes derived from the spice pallet and foods native to the Mediterranean to chronicle the exotic cultural experience offered to Taglit-Birthright Israel trip participants.
- 1 cup dried chickpeas
- 1/2 cup tahini paste
- Juice from 1 lemon
- 1-4 garlic cloves (depending on how strong you want the garlic flavor)
- 1/2 tsp. cumin
- Salt, to taste
- 3-4 tbsp. olive oil
- Za'atar (ground hyssop)
- Rinse chickpeas several times and soak them in a bowl of water overnight, or for at least 8 hours. Rinse the chickpeas well and place them in a large pot. Add enough water to cover and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for 60-90 minutes, until the beans are soft. Reserve a handful of chickpeas and a cup of cooking water on the side.
- Mix remaining chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, salt and olive oil in a food processor and blend until smooth. If hummus is too think, add some of the reserved cooking liquid and blend until hummus reaches the desired consistency.
- To serve, add reserved whole chickpeas and za'atar, drizzle with olive oil on top. Enjoy alongside fresh or toasted pita.