Can-less Hummus

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One of the great culinary inventions is also one of the dumbest vegetarian cliches: hummus or hommos.
Either way hummus translates simply to “chick peas,” or garbanzos, the bean from which its typically birthed. An eminent spread that depends on right spicing and good olive oil, and that with a hunk of unleavened bread forms a perfect protein, which Arabs and Jews have agreed upon for thousands of years.
We are not hummus newbies or puritans. We’ve gone deeply nutty with a pistachio-version , festive with a weird christmas version, and we’ve scolded friends for not making their own.
Now, it’s time to take it up a notch, some next level shit… fresh hummus. (Fresh as in these chickpeas never touched a tin can and they don’t have to be dumped and rinsed to remove that mystery slick that gums up all canned beans and makes them smell like hangover urine.) The texture and taste of hummus made from fresh chick peas is genuinely superior — crisper, never gloopy. Several farmers market stands around Los Angeles boast bean sprout vendors and they all sell chick peas.
The beans are firm when they’re fresh, just hard enough to make a thud when you plop ’em on the kitchen counter, but still moist. We like to steam them and blend them still warm. This time of year green garlic is all over our markets too, so you’ll see that in this recipe, but the real magic here is the simple truth that farm fresh is always better than supermarket metal.

Fresh Hummus
(Makes 2 cups)

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1 and 1/2 cups fresh garbanzos (not dried)
1 bulb of green garlic (w/ green tips)
2 cloves white garlic
1/4 cup tahini
Juice of one lemon
1/3 cup water (as needed)
1/3 cup olive oil
10-15 fresh spinach leaves, roughly chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
1 Tbs. zartar (optional)
1. Steam the fresh beans in a soup pot with steam table insert over medium-high heat for about 30 minutes, or until beans are cooked but still slightly crunchy. Skins should slide off under a firm pinch. If the beans you start off with are particularly hard, simply boil them rather than steam. Remove and set aside to cool for a couple minutes. Blending while still warm is fine too.
2. In a food processor, add steamed beans, tahini and lemon juice. Roughly chop your green garlic like you would scallions and add the pieces along with the regular, white garlic cloves. Pulse and begin slowly adding olive oil. If the mixture has trouble moving, add up to a 1/3 cup water as needed. Puree for several minutes.
3. Finely add chopped spinach leaves for color. And season with salt and pepper for a final blend.
4. Serve with olive oil drizzle, green garlic and fresh garbanzo garnish. We like a pinch of zartar for garnish as well.
Soundtrack: Dinosaur Jr.’s “Green Mind”
Beverage: Sierra Nevada Harvest Ale

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11 Responses to Can-less Hummus

  1. ritchey says:

    where the hell am I supposed to get fresh garbanzo beans in the middle of fucking nowhere (Iowa City)???? I don’t even know what such a thing even looks like. I wish I were dead.

  2. quarrygirl says:

    ah, man… i just whipped up some homemade hummus with dried/soaked garbanzo beans, and i was feeling all pleased with myself until i read this post. yours looks WAY better.
    i’m going on a mission at the HFM on sunday to track down some fresh beans and make this.
    i can’t wait!

  3. EVAN says:

    Uhhhh, wait! Aren’t you eating raw this week? This won’t count, steamed. Might stick with the sprouted soaked…
    http://www.quarrygirl.com/2010/03/28/we-are-going-raw-for-the-week/

  4. That looks amazing. I’ve made hummus a zillion times from organic no-salt-added canned beans and from dried/soaked/cooked ones, but I’ll have to check out the farmers market up here in San Francisco this weekend to find some fresh beans. Thanks for the inspiration!

  5. lake says:

    smells like hangover urine…. sick! i think that’s the grossest scatological reference I’ve heard from you boys yet! And there are quite a few to choose from….What were we hypothesizing the other night? The next wave in culinary couture is not just how it taste coming in, but the experience of it coming out too? Always ahead of the curve HK.

  6. quarrygirl says:

    yes yes, i am eating raw this week! but i’m still gonna go to the HFM on sunday and get what i need to make this.
    this hummus is gonna welcome me back to the world of cooked food around monday lunchtime… :)
    thanks for lookin’ out!

  7. EVAN says:

    Tulips and kittens. We guarantee your urine will smell like tulips and kittens after this hummus.

  8. ALBERTO says:

    HELLO, I AM A FRESH GARBANZO GROWER (DESERT 100)AND I AM SENDING RIGHT NOW FRESH GARBANZO TO ARIZONA, IF YOU CAN TELL ME WHERE CAN I SELL IT IN CALIFORNIA. THANK YOU
    ALBERTO

  9. Mary says:

    Alberto,
    Whole Foods.

  10. Nat Roe says:

    Although I wouldn’t call it hummus exactly, I’d suggest sauteeing onions and bell peppers (with cumin, paprika and even cayenne) and throwing em in there. Purists would surely scoff but I love that shit and it’s good for variety’s sake for all those who eat a ton of hummus. You can skip the tahini that way too if it’s scarce…

    All kinds of garbanzo bean dip possibilities yet uncharted!

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