IsraPalooza Hummus Recipe

As part of IsraPalooza, cookbook author and food anthropologist Joan Nathan shared the below recipe.

Hummus with Preserved Lemon and Cumin

Excerpted from King Solomon’s Table by Joan Nathan (Random House, 2017). Excerpted by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

  • 2 cups dried chickpeas (or 4 cups canned or pre-soaked chickpeas)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup tahina (pure crushed sesame seeds)
  • 1 whole preserved lemon, seeds removed
  • 3 tablespoons preserved lemon liquid from jar
  • 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, or to taste
  • 2 cloves garlic, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin, or to taste
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • Dash of paprika or sumac (Sumac, a Middle Eastern spice made from dried, powdered red sumac berries, can be found in specialty stores.)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley or cilantro, chopped

Note: If using canned chickpeas, skip the first step.

1. Put the dried chickpeas in a large bowl with cold water to cover and soak overnight. The next day, drain and rinse them, then put them with the baking soda in a large heavy pot with enough cold water to cover by about 3 inches. Bring to a boil, skimming off the scum that accumulates. Simmer, partially covered, for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until the chickpeas are soft and the skin begins to separate, adding more water as needed.

2. Drain the chickpeas (dried or canned), reserving about 1 1/2 cups of the cooking liquid or water. In a food processor fitted with a steel blade, process the chickpeas with the tahina, preserved lemon and its liquid, lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper, cumin and at least 1⁄2 cup of the reserved cooking liquid. If the hummus is too thick, add more reserved cooking liquid or water until you have a creamy, paste-like consistency.

3. Heat a frying pan and add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Spread the pine nuts in the pan and stir-fry, browning on all sides.

4. To serve, transfer the hummus to a large, flat plate and, with the back of a spoon, make a slight depression in the center. Drizzle the remaining olive oil and sprinkle pine nuts, paprika or sumac, and parsley or cilantro over the surface.

5. Serve with cut-up raw vegetables or warm pita cut into wedges. Yields about 4 cups, or 6 to 8 servings.

Note: Leftover hummus tends to thicken; just add some water to make it the right consistency. After a few days, freeze any uneaten hummus.