Hummus Place, a mini-chain of little shops in Manhattan, has, in this hummus-lovers opinion, achieved the pinnacle of chickpea-puree perfection with their exceptionally smooth and creamy product. The West Village location is just close enough to my office to be a temptation pretty much every week. The hummus is served warm, with tahini, with chickpeas, or with fava beans and an egg. Each order comes with pickles, onions, a delicious homemade hot sauce, and two fluffy pita—perhaps indicating it’s meant to serve two people. But the hummus tastes so good, I invariably eat up all of it myself, stopping just shy of licking the container.
Now, I’ve been making my own hummus for years—ever since I acquired a food processor. But I generally just throw the stuff together and give the whole lot a whir, not really paying attention to proportions and, consequently, getting wildly inconsistent results.
So, finally, inspired by Hummus Place, I decided to buckle down and create a real recipe—one that is rich, creamy and contains just enough lemon. While I do believe that gussied-up versions, with roasted garlic or red peppers or whatever, have their place, I think this basic one stands just fine on its own.
2 cans garbanzo beans, drained, rinsed, and drained again
1 clove garlic, finely minced
3/4 cup tahini
1/2-3/4 cup water
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons lemon juice
Salt to taste (This will depend on personal taste, as well as what brand of chickpeas you use. I used Goya, and ended up adding 1 teaspoon.)
Combine ingredients, except for salt, in a food processor, beginning with the lesser amount of water. Process until super smooth and creamy, adding more water if it’s too thick. Taste and season with salt. Garnish with extra virgin olive oil, toasted pine nuts, and/or paprika.
99 Macdougal Street
New York, NY