With the Jewish New Year having just passed, I’ve been thinking a lot about home. Growing up along the Mediterranean Sea, hummus and pita was almost always a part of every meal. Authentic hummus and freshly out of the oven pita is one of the simplest, yet most delicious meals you could ever have. So since moving to the US, our standards for both have been very high. Over time, we’ve found that there’s really nothing better than homemade. There’s just no comparison.
Today we’ll start with the hummus. Because the truth is, when hummus is this good, you could literally eat it with a spoon. No cracker, chip, pita, carrot, or bread required (although all will be just fine along with it). The prep time may seem daunting, but I assure you, the patience will be so worth it once you take that first taste.
(Makes 8 cups)
2 cups dry chick peas
1 teaspoon baking soda
5 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup raw tahini
Juice from 1 lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
Soak the chick peas in water for 8 hours (or overnight) in a large pot. Drain. Add water once again to cover, plus 1 inch, as well as the baking soda. Mix well. Cook the chick pea and water mixture on low heat. Skim off any foam with a spoon. Continue to cook over low heat for 60 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Drain the water, being sure to reserve the liquid.
In a food processor, combine the drained chick peas with the garlic, and process to a uniform mixture. Add the tahini and lemon juice and continue to process. The mixture will become thicker over time. If you feel that the mixture becomes too thick, add some of the reserved liquid. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Garnish with fresh parsley, olive oil, za’atar, and/or pine nuts. Serve chilled with pita bread, vegetables, pita chips, or crackers!