Monday, May 10, 2010


For many years I didn't really care for hummus and finally I figured out why: tahini sauce does nothing for me. Lots of people use it, and they can continue to do so. But when I first made my own hummus I didn't have any on hand and didn't feel like driving to the grocery store to get some...and I liked the hummus so much more! Another difference with this version is preserved lemon. I realize preserved lemons are not the most common ingredient, but they are very easy to make (though it does take about two months curing time)--just google them and you'll come up with dozens of recipes. Anyway, I almost always have preserved lemon on hand ever since I came across this incredible roast chicken recipe. I can't say that I make it that often, but it is--truly--so wonderful that it is worth having preserved lemon on hand for that recipe alone!

But back to hummus, I think the salty lemony-ness of preserved lemon works perfectly here. The other key ingredients are garlic and cayenne. I happen to like a fair amount of these, but you can add to your taste. (Turns out the lemon-garlic-red pepper triumvirate is also significant in my favorite pasta recipe!) Last but not least, I once read on someone else's blog that processing olive oil makes it turn bitter. I have no idea if this is true--I need some scientist out there to do some testing & analysis! In any case, I usually use a glug or two of peanut oil when I'm processing, then stir in a bit more olive oil at the end.

15-ounce can of chickpeas, drained but liquid reserved
2-4 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons preserved lemon, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons peanut oil
pinch or two of cayenne pepper
olive oil

Process the first four ingredients, adding a few tablespoons of the chickpea liquid back in to moisten. You may also need to add more peanut oil to get the consistency you want. Empty to a bowl or storage container and stir in the cayenne and a drizzle of olive oil.


  1. I love hummus, but tahini also adds some fat (healthy I am sure, but...) so I am anxious to try out this new recipe! Thanks for posting. But....I probably will have to seek out preserved lemon (already preserved..I may be too lazy to wait) Have you ever found it at a store?

  2. I'm sure there are gourmet stores in your neck of the woods that would carry preserved lemons. But you & the kids would have fun making them too! I can send you the recipe I use if you want.

  3. I love the idea of serving hummus on cucumbers; fabulous!

  4. I don't care for tahini either. I do use cashew butter sometimes. More often than not I do what you do but preserved lemons is a new one. Hmmm.