Hummus

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I love hummus. Especially heaped onto some crusty bread together with slices of juicy tomato and an extra drizzling of olive oil and some salt. Of course, it is great on toasted pitta bread along with any other meat or salad filling. It is healthy — it always reminds me that I’m giving myself calcium from the sesame — and a great quick snack once you have got past the soaking and cooking of the chickpeas. I often use tinned chickpeas and then it is an almost instant thing.

Ingredients

  • 250 g (9 oz) chickpeas, soaked overnight or 450 g (1 lb) tinned chickpeas, drained, reserving some of the liquid
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 3 tablespoons tahini
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon sweet paprika

Method

If you are not using tinned chickpeas, drain the soaked chickpeas into a saucepan, cover generously with water and bring to the boil. Cook over medium–high heat for about 1½ hours until they are softened. Drain, keeping some of the cooking liquid. Pass the chickpeas through a large-holed sieve to remove their skins.

Crush the garlic with a little salt until it forms a purée. Put the chickpeas, tahini and garlic in a blender, purée a little and then season with salt. Add the lemon juice and continue puréeing until smooth. Scrape out into a bowl and thoroughly mix in the olive oil. If it’s a bit too dry, add some of the reserved chickpea liquid. Check there is enough salt. Sprinkle with the paprika and drizzle with a little more oil if you like. Hummus will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.