Roasted Garlic Hummus

For most of my life (certainly my childhood), I was essentially ignorant of food processors.  I mean, I had heard the word “Cuisinart”, there was even one in my past life for a number of years.  But I had never used it.  Never assembled it.  Never cleaned it.  I think I just thought that they were only for chopping vegetables.  And as those of you who know me understand, I am often pretty particular about my veggies.

Well, when I started to get my act together about a year ago, one of the things I budgeted for was a food processor.  Since then I have made pizza dough, palak paneer, curry pastes, and roasted red pepper sauce in the gadget.  I love it!

But was the first thing that I made last summer was hummus. I have loved this delicious middle eastern dip since I was a student back in Minnesota.  Until then I had either had it in a restaurant – where it was amazing, or bought the tubs in the supermarket – where it was disappointing.  But last year I realized that with a food processor, restaurant quality hummus is now just minutes away.  You can find zillions of recipes for the stuff online.  I like the one below — which is a riff on this recipe.

The first thing to do is roast some fresh garlic.  If you have never done this before, don’t fret for it is soooo easy.  Just preheat the oven to 400F and grab a couple of heads of garlic.

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Then slice off the tops of the heads – enough so that the cloves are exposed.  You want to be able to access each one after it gets all soft and gooey and tasty.

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Now put them in some kind of a baking pan (I use a pie tin but anything will do) and drizzle some olive oil over the cloves so that it seeps down into the head.

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Then cover with some foil and pop into the oven for about 55-60 minutes.  When they come out they should look nice and caramelized like so:

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Here is a juicy close-up 🙂  I love closeups!

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The remaining ingredients that you need are shown below.

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Perhaps the most unfamiliar member of the above cast of characters is tahini, which is sesame paste.  It is very similar to all natural peanut butter but without salt.  You can make this yourself from sesame seeds if you like.  It might seem kind of expensive but it lasts a long time.  And a little goes a long way!

Now.  Stir up the tahini to make sure it is well blended and then add 5 tablespoons to the food processor.

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Then add 4.5 tablespoons of olive oil.

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At this point I usually pulse the processor to mix all of the oil and tahini together.

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Now take the two cooled heads of roasted garlic and squeeze out the cloves.  They should be nice and soft and come out like a firm paste.  And they taste awesome so throw one in your mouth at this point 🙂

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I get a pile about this big from two heads:

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Toss them into the processor and pulse again.  Then add about 1/2 teaspoon of salt to the processor:

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Then halve two lemons and squeeze the juice into the processor.

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At this point you should drain the two 15oz cans of chick-peas, reserving the juice for later use.

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Then toss the chickpeas into the processor:

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Then pulse away.  Mine usually turns out to be a bit dry and looks like this at first.

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And then after I run the processor a while it looks smoother.

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But I like really creamy hummus so at this point I add some of the juice into the hummus until I get it looking nice and smooth.  Just start with a bit and add until it looks right. Although it varies, I usually I use about 1/2 a cup of reserved liquid.  Now get 1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin and toss that in.  If you look at this picture you will see how creamy it is compared to the previous picture.

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Then give it a final pulse before putting it into a container.  Finish it off with a drizzle of olive oil and some paprika.

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