Classic Creamy Hummus

Story by Natalie
Classic Creamy Hummus
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When I was a teenager I had a strict midnight curfew. As an adult I now know that nothing good happens after midnight anyways, but back in my (not so wild) youth I thought what little control over over my social life I had was being completely sabotaged. Luckily for me, my parents were gracious hosts, always willing to let friends (whose parents were a little more laid back than mine) hang out at our house until the wee hours of the morning. Friday nights usually went something like this: school sports game, dinner at a local diner with friends, stand outside of said diner and talk until 11:55pm, and then a hurried call to my mom to let her know I was bringing 10 friends over to watch a movie. As predictable (and lame...I mean tame…) as my weekend and summer nights were, so was my mom’s response. Waiting for my friend’s and I on the coffee table would always be a bag of popped popcorn, a pitcher of lemonade and a lit candle. Completely simple, but oh so sweet.


The reality is, I just don’t have the time or ability at this moment to create the grandiose spread of my dreams every single time.

Classic Creamy Hummus

As teenagers, my sisters and I would tease my mom about her inability to not host regardless of the time or day. It was as if she was compelled. As an adult, I’ve wondered how she had the energy to do it all, and I think I’ve come to a conclusion: I try too hard.

In my head, hosting looks like a pinterest board, a Kinfolk magazine or the myriad of gorgeous table scapes on my Instagram feed. The reality? I have three kids, a house to run, a business, and you know what? I’m just so freaking tired. ALL. THE. TIME. I can't imagine my mom’s reality being any less tiring. Four girls, a demanding schedule, constant visitors, and a church to help run. But, she made it happen. How?

Classic Creamy Hummus

Recently, inviting people over just seems so daunting and I think it's because when I imagine having company over I resort to this complicated checklist I’ve built up in my head of how it looks to correctly host them. A couple of weeks ago a friend mentioned she was reading a new book and the title stopped me in my tracks…”Present Over Perfect.” Bam. I realized then that all those years my mom was able to be the perpetually welcoming host, at all hours and on all days, it was because she didn't over complicate things. She kept it simple, and because of that her doors stayed open.

The bottom line is, I love to host. The reality is, I just don’t have the time or ability at this moment to create the grandiose spread of my dreams every single time. And when I do force myself to do it, these days I realize I'm not enjoying it. And so, I’m left with two choices; stop having people over and become a hermit...or (the better option) be present with the people in my life and chose to make entertaining simple (rather than ceasing to entertain all together or kill myself in the process).

All that to say, I’ve been wanting to share this hummus recipe for quite sometime, because let’s face it, while everyone loves hummus, not all hummus is created equal. This recipe and the method that follow are the perfect balance of tangy and creamy, and goes fantastically with just about anything you can find to dip in it. In my recent quest to rekindle a love for hosting in the midst of this crazy season, I’ve decided keeping some of this fresh hummus, some yummy crudité and a good bottle of wine on hand will be my version of popcorn and lemonade. Just enough to make my guests feel welcome and at home, but not so much that I ever need to think or work too hard that I talk myself out of company all together. Simple, welcoming, and always ready, just like mama taught.

Classic Creamy Hummus

Classic Creamy Hummus

Serves 10

Ingredients

3 15 oz cans chickpeas, drained with liquid reserved
1/2 cup reserved chickpea liquid
1 cup tahini
1/3 cup olive oil + more for serving
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp lemon juice
1 zest of lemon
3 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1/2-1tsp sea salt
flat leaf parsley (optional)
paprika for serving (optional)
za’atar for serving (optional)
A variety of seasonal vegetables for serving
Toasted pita bread for serving

Method

  1. Add all ingredients to a high powered blender. A standard blender will not achieve desired consistency. If you do not have a high powered blender a food processor can be used. However, if a food processor is used all chickpea skins will need to be removed or you will end up with dry grainy hummus. (No Good).
  2. Once all ingredients are added, start to blend on at a low speed until ingredients are mixed together. Slowly increase the speed, and blend on high for 5 minutes until smooth and creamy. If the hummus appears to be too dry and isn’t blending nicely, add more reserved chickpea liquid 1 tbsp at a time. A little bit will go a long way.
  3. Every brand of canned chickpeas contains different levels of sodium. Adjust the salt to your liking. If the hummus tastes a little “flat” try adding more salt and a bit more lemon juice and blend again.
  4. To serve, use the back of a spoon to spread the hummus out into a shallow bowl, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with chopped flat leaf parsley, paprika and za’atar. Serve with warm pita and plenty of seasonal vegetables.