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.
(Makes 2 cups)
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