Using a Pot of Beans Part III: Lentil Hummus
This is the same Creamy, Fluffy Hummus – The Way It’s Supposed To Be recipe I posted a few months ago, except substituting black lentils for the garbanzos. That’s the thing with hummus – you can make it with whatever bean you have on hand and it will always be lovely.
As true as it was when I first posted it, the secret to fluffy hummus is to emulsify the tahini with the lemon juice before you start whipping in the beans. I give a basic outline for the seasoning, but you can adjust it to you suit your own favorite flavors.
Make a meal of it by serving with warm pita bread and a big salad. Spread the hummus on the pita, pile some salad on top of that, take huge bites – serious yum. For those of you avoiding grains, the creamy garlicky goodness that is a properly prepared hummus makes a delicious dip for radishes, cauliflower, and peppers.
You could even saute the vegetables in a bit of olive oil first until tender-crisp, pile the warm vegetables on top of a simple green salad, finish with hummus. You’ll get an incredibly satisfying warm/cool, crunchy/creamy, sweet/salty thing going on.
Creamy, Fluffy Lentil (or Any Bean!) Hummus
Makes about 2 cups
1/4 c. tahini
juice of one lemon, about 1/4 c.
1/4 c. water or more
1/2 of a whole preserved lemon, seeds discarded (I find jars of whole preserved lemons at Whole Foods), minced (optional)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 c. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
2/3 c. cooked lentils (or other beans)
2 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. smoked paprika
1/2 tsp. ground chipotle chili powder (optional, if you like spiciness; if not, skip it)
salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
toasted sesame seeds (optional)
Add tahini, lemon juice, and water to the bowl of a blender. Blend on high until the tahini becomes very fluffy and pale colored. Add the minced preserved lemon (if using) and garlic and blend until pureed. Add some of the the olive oil and lentils, a little bit at a time of each, blending until completely pureed before adding more. Add a little bit more water at any point if hummus seems too thick. You want it to be creamy and the consistency of mayonnaise.
Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Add cumin and toast for a minute or two, just until fragrant and toasty smelling. Do not burn it. Remove from heat and immediately scrape it into the hummus. Add smoked paprika and chili powder (if using). Blend to incorporate. Taste and adjust seasonings and salt (you’ll need less salt if you used the preserved lemon). Grind in some pepper. Blend again.
Scrape hummus into a serving bowl. Drizzle with additional olive oil and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds. (Can be made ahead; cover and chill, bring to room temperature before serving.)