Fresh Chickpea Hummus

From Laura Di Lembo

2015 Mar/Apr

The basic version of hummus is easily prepared for instant spreading or scooping. Other times, though, are opportunities to play with possibilities.

Thanks to the food-crazed website for this enlightened inspiration. Jump in, learn the vocabulary and start experimenting!

B’ummus – beets + hummus. This is what happens when a mad genius purées cooked beets with hummus and adds some fiery harissa.

Tzatzummus is a hybrid of tzatziki and hummus, with small cubes of cucumber tucked in with Greek style yogurt, fresh chopped dill, minced garlic and lemon juice.

Muffalummus is what hummus would be if it came from New Orleans, resplendent with capers, olives, pickled pimentos and red wine vinegar.

Figummus – finely chop a few dried figs and cover them with a bit of boiling water to soften them. Drain the figs and stir them with honey and toasted pine nuts. Stir the mixture into hummus along with a good pinch of smoked paprika for the pleasurable duality of sweet and smoky flavours.

The chickpea-centric combos continue to delight. Chummus, chipotle lime hummus with canned chipotle chiles, cilantro and lime juice, a literal hot mess.

Spummus, a spinach and feta hummus of cooked baby spinach patted dry and finely chopped. Stir into your hummus with crumbled feta, lemon juice and zest, and extra-virgin olive oil.

Tunnus is time to indulge in Italian canned tuna in olive oil flaked into your hummus with chopped olives, parsley, lemon juice and some oil from the tuna tin.

Harissa and mint hummus is a creative riff on an old coupling, harissa and chopped mint, conjoined with hummus. We’ll call it Harummus.

Artichummus combines an assortment of your freshest chopped herbs and chopped marinated artichoke hearts with hummus.

Zatarummus features za’atar, a Middle Eastern spice blend of dried thyme leaves, toasted sesame seeds and ground sumac, which contributes a tangy tartness. Middle Eastern grocers carry za’atar and sumac as does Silk Road Spice Merchant in Inglewood.


  • 8 c. fresh chickpeas, yielding 2 c. shelled chickpeas (or 1 15-oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed)
  • 1 bay leaf (for cooking fresh chickpeas)
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 T. tahini paste, well stirred
  • 2-3 large garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/2 t. ground cumin
  • 1/2 t. kosher salt
  • 1/4 t. cayenne pepper
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling
  • pinch of paprika


Shell the chickpeas. Place them in a medium-sized pot with the bay leaf and cover with plenty of water. No salt. Cook until very tender, about 20-25 minutes. Drain, reserving about 1 c. of the cooking liquid. Discard the bay leaf. You may remove the skin of the chickpeas for a smoother end result. If you like some fibrous texture to your hummus, keep the skins on.

In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, pulse the chickpeas with the remaining ingredients, except for the olive oil, until a smooth paste forms. Add the cooking water, a spoonful at a time, until the desired consistency is reached. If using canned chickpeas, you may add filtered water to thin the hummus if needed. Taste for seasoning and adjust to your liking. Serve the hummus in a pretty bowl, anointed with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and a pinch of paprika.

Serves 4 to 6.