Hummus on the Cheap–No Tahini Needed
Hummus and Olives, Immediately Before Being Devoured
Hummus is one of the most marvelous things in the world and easy to make. The biggest downside is the cost or even the availability of sesame tahini. Most hummus recipes I’ve seen require quite a dollop of tahini, and a single ten-dollar jar might have two such dollops. Nice stuff, buuuuuuuut….
There are a lot of recipes for hummus without tahini, but there always seems to be a missing depth to the flavor, even the ones that substitute peanut butter for the tahini. So I got to thinking, it’s sesame seeds ground to a paste. The flavor is sesasme. Can I substitute sesasme seeds? Tried it. Nope. Then one day I was rummaging in the fridge for something or other, and there it was, on the condiment shelf:
In no time flat I got out my trusty food processor and cranked open a couple of cans of chickpeas and assembled the garlic and lemon juice and such. I used a half teaspoon of sesasme oil and it really truly improved the tahini-free hummus. Sesame oil is very concentrated, so one bottle, while expensive, can last a long time when kept in the refrigerator. It takes just a few drops to expand its flavor in anything from marinades to flavoring frying oil. It’s certainly less expensive by far than the tahini! So here’s what I came up with, and just in time for holiday entertaining:
Easy Inexpensive Hummus
Assemble in a food processor fitted with the chopping blade:
- 2 cans chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained (save the liquid for thinning the hummus if necessary)
- 1/4 c olive oil
- 3 Tb lemon juice
- 3 tsp ground cumin powder
- 1 Tb minced garlic
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp sesame oil
Pulse the ingredients, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl, until they are blended. Add more olive oil or liquid from the cans if it is too thick. Taste, and adjust the seasonings to your preference. You might like a stronger lemon presence, or stronger sesame or cumin.
Optional: add a pinch of cayenne powder for a spicy kick.