Homemade hummus tastes much better than the store-bought kind. This recipe is adapted from Paula Wolfert's Mediterranean Cooking.
• 1 ½ cup dried chickpeas (or 2 cans chickpeas)
• ¾ cup tahini
• ½ cup lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
• 3 cloves garlic
• olive oil
Soak the dried chickpeas in cold water overnight, or for at least four hours. Drain the chickpeas and put them in a heavy saucepan with water to cover by about an inch. Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 45 minutes, or until soft. When cooked, drain them, reserving a cup of the cooking water. If you're using canned chickpeas, skip this step.
Using a mortar and pestle, mash the garlic and salt together to form a paste. If you don't have a mortar and pestle, chop the garlic coarsely, then sprinkle it with coarse salt and mash with a fork.
Put the garlic, tahini, and lemon juice in a food processor, and process until the mixture is white and contracted. Add half a cup water and process until completely smooth.
Add the chickpeas and process again, adding some of the cooking water if the mixture is too thick (if you've used canned chickpeas, you can add water here, or olive oil). Taste and add more salt or lemon juice if needed.
Serve drizzled with olive oil.
To read about how eating out—or making this hummus—can be a good antidote to serious home cooking, click here.