This makes a big bowl of hummus, which is great for a party—easy, inexpensive, nutritious, delicious. But it’s also a slightly unconventional recipe, as I use not only tahini, the sesame seed paste, but also peanut butter for extra nuttiness. (It’s fine to leave out the peanut butter if peanut allergies are an issue in your house.) And I also throw in a little cream to help smooth it out. The best hummus I’ve had in this country is served at Shaya, in New Orleans. We were told that one of their “secrets” was that they remove the skins from the cooked chickpeas before pureeing them and passing them through a sieve.
Soak the chickpeas in abundant water, refrigerated, for at least 8 hours or as long as 3 days. Drain the chickpeas and dump them into a saucepan. Add enough water to cover them by a few inches and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 1 hour. Drain and pat dry with paper towels.
Combine the chickpeas, tahini, peanut butter, garlic, the juice of 1 lemon, and the salt in a food processor and puree until very smooth. Taste it. Add more lemon juice if needed, or more peanut butter or tahini if you wish. If it needs more salt, add it now. With the processor running, add the cream through the feed tube.
To serve, transfer the hummus to a bowl and smooth the surface with a spatula. Using a large spoon, swirl some indentations into the surface of the hummus and fill the indentations with olive oil.
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