Saturday, November 12, 2011

A Hummus Update

Peel the chickpeas? You must be kidding!!!

Hummus with roasted red pepper - doesn't it look creamy?
Joshua Bousel's Hummus post today on SeriousEats generated a lot of comments. Several readers addressed the issue of texture, and were quite persuasive about the magic of peeling the chickpeas (or garbanzo beans, if you prefer). Oh, sure! do you know how many of those little legumes are packed in a 14-ounce can?! Too many to peel, I thought. Then curiosity got the best of me and I set out to see if removing the slippery, parchment-like skins made a noticeable difference.

It took roughly ten minutes to rub off the papery coverings by hand, one chickpea at a time. The suggested method of swirling the chickpeas in a colander didn't workl for me, so I used my fingers. 

To make the hummus I pureed all of the usual ingredients except the chickpeas in a food processor, then added the chickpeas and whirled it all some more. Surprise! the texture was silky smooth with no hint of the usual coarse, almost gritty texture. Another added benefit was the lack of any bitter edge to the taste, something RL occasionally grumbles about. I'll stick to my usual hummus recipe, maybe tossing in a roasted red pepper or changing up the spices, but plan to add the ten minutes of chickpea peeling to the process. It's worth the little bit of annoying extra effort.

The texture and taste are improved, but it's still hard to believe that I want to peel each little chickpea. 

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