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
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.