Mike Wolfberg's Recipe for Hummus Tahini
This is one of several recipes developed by Mike and his late wife, Julie,
for a Concord/Carlisle Massachusetts Newcomers Gourmet Group
took place in the first half of the 1970s.
The following recipe is for the way I like to prepare this dish;
however, to save time, I have often instead put all ingredients into a food
processor and mixed them for about one minute. I think it is important to
first press the garlic.
This recipe yields 2 cups. The figures in parentheses throughout
this recipe are optional 50% higher yield numbers.
- 19 or 20 (29-30) oz. can of chickpeas
- Brands vary some, but I can never recall my favorite -
- 4 1/2 (7) TBL. sesame tahini
- This is a crucial ingredient; Sahadi brand is the best;
this used to be easy to find; it can be found today at
Middle Eastern grocery stores in Belmont, MA, such as
Eastern Lamejun Bakers
- 1 1/2 to 2 (3) medium cloves garlic
- peeled and sliced in half lengthwise, and the mature
- 2 (3) tsp. dried parsley
- I prefer Durkees for this, even though I prefer Penzeys
as a brand in general. 1/4 - 1/2 tsp. of Penzeys
dried parsley is used when serving.
- 1 (1 1/2) TBL. olive oil
- I tend to use non-virgin Bertolli or Berio brands.
Another 1-2 TBL. of this oil is used when serving.
- 6 (9) TBL. fresh lemon juice
- One to two large lemons will yield this.
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- or less if desired
- white pita bread
- Whole wheat pita is too strong; avoid Sahara brand;
Joseph's is a good brand; another bread that's good is
Cedar's Stone-Ground Whole Wheat Mountain Bread.
- Open the can of chickpeas, and leave some of the lid
attached. Drain and save at least 8 TBL. of the juice
from the can. While still in the can, rinse and drain the
chickpeas several times with water. Optionally, remove
and discard the skin from each chickpea. If you avoid
this, there can be annoying pieces of the skin in the
result. If, contrary to my suggestion (see step 2), you
puree this, such as in a food processor or blender, then skinning can be
- It is my opinion this dip should have some substance and
not be a smooth puree; this is the way I learned to like
this dish before it became generally popular outside of
Middle Eastern restaurants. Put the chickpeas into a
bowl, and mash them with a masher, using a twisting
motion. Do not mash thoroughly - leave some semi-mashed
pieces to add texture and interest to the dip.
- Combine all the ingredients in this order, stirring as
you go: tahini, oil, 4 (6) TBL. of the reserved juice, pressed
garlic, parsley, salt. The garlic must be pressed through
a garlic press - there is no substitute. A press with
smallish holes is best.
- The hummus is ready to serve as soon as the parsley has
absorbed moisture, perhaps in about 30 minutes. The
flavors are more vibrant when served the same day - this
is recommended. It can be kept in the refrigerator, but
should be served at room temperature. If it seems too
dry, add some more of the reserved juice.
- Spread the dip on a flat platter. Drip on another 1-2
TBL. of olive oil. Sprinkle 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. of Penzeys
dried parsley, crumbling it in your hand as you
move over the dip. My style of serving this with pita
bread is just to put out some loaves of the bread
(perhaps warmed briefly in the oven), and let folks break
off pieces to serve as dippers.