Creamy Dreamy Israeli-Style Hummus

Israeli-Style Hummus

Anybody who knows me knows that I’m no stranger to hummus! It’s one of my indulgences and something I love to treat myself to a couple times a week. So let’s just say that while vacationing in Israel last month I definitely took advantage of the sheer abundance of this delectable snack 🙂 Incredibly popular in Middle Eastern and Eastern Mediterranean cuisine, hummus was pretty much offered and served at every meal, and was one of 2 foods I lived off of – along with hard boiled eggs…sans the yolks of course – during the Shabbat weekends when Kosher eating was in effect. In fact, during the 2 weeks of this incredible vacation I seriously think I ate more hummus than I would have in 3 lifetimes in the States!Israeli-Style HummusIt wasn’t just my love for hummus that kept me coming back for more, it was the Israeli way of making it! Unlike typical hummus which carries a chunkier texture, Israeli hummus is miraculously smooth as butter. It has an incredibly creamy luxurious texture and harbors a beautifully simple nutty chickpea flavor, richly drenched in tahini.

Just one bite and that was it….I was hooked…and when I got back to the States I knew that I needed to recreate this mesmerizing style of hummus….But I had to make it healthier of course!!!! 🙂

Israeli-Style Hummus

So armed with my newly purchased Israeli extra-virgin olive oil and native za’atar seasoning that I personally made when I was in Israel, I set off to do just that…And the results were amazing 🙂

My version of Israeli hummus is just as creamy but contains far less of the saturated fat than its overseas counterpart. Although the tahini contributed to the beautiful luxurious consistency of Israeli hummus, I knew that the amount that is typically used wasn’t necessary. So I reduced the amount of tahini by over half, instead, relying on recreating the deep creaminess with the addition of some Israeli extra-virgin olive oil, canned garbanzo bean natural juices, and my good ‘ole reliable workhorse…..my high powered Vitamix.

Israeli-Style Hummus

My hummus is kept elegantly basic. Being a hummus purist I chose to keep the flavor profile simple, incorporating traditional ingredients such as lemon, tahini, cumin and cayenne for some kick! By using this approach it allows the hummus to shine…with each ingredient acting as a compliment to one another rather than a competitor.

I finish the dish off traditionally with smoked Spanish paprika, a drizzle of Israeli extra-virgin olive oil, some whole chickpeas and homemade za’atar seasoning.

The end result….classic elegance and simplicity with a healthy twist!

For this recipe you will need the following ingredients…3 cans of garbanzo beans – I’ve tried all different brands and found that I prefer the taste of Bush’s Garbanzo Beans the best. You can use any brand but just make sure that they are of good quality, as this will be the main flavor of the dish. Along with the beans you’ll also need tahini paste, fresh garlic, lemons, Israeli extra virgin olive oil or another of your choice, ground cumin, ground cayenne pepper, kosher salt, and black pepper.

To garnish you will need Spanish paprika (when sprinkled over the top of the hummus it really adds to the flavor tremendously), Israeli extra-virgin olive oil or another of your choice, and za’atar seasoning. If you’ve never heard of za’atar seasoning it’s a very popular Middle Eastern and Eastern Mediterranean seasoning blend made up of a combination of dried thyme, marjoram, oregano, sumac, salt and toasted sesame seeds. It has an amazingly nutty yet lemony flavor and is an incredibly versatile seasoning to use on anything from eggs to poultry to fish to red meat. Love those kinds of spices!

Begin by draining the 3 cans of garbanzo (chickpeas) into a mesh strainer sitting atop a large bowl to collect the bean liquids. Set the bowl of liquid aside…you will need this later to help with the consistency of the hummus.

Remove about a 1/3-1/2 a cans worth of garbanzo beans and place in a bowl. Add a tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil and Za’atar seasoning to the chickpeas and stir until combined. Set aside to use later as a garnishment to the hummus.

To a high powered blender or large food processor (fitted with a blade attachment), add the remaining 2 1/2 cans of chickpeas, 3/4 cup of the bean liquid, tahini paste, garlic clove with skin removed, lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, cumin, cayenne pepper, kosher salt and black pepper and begin to blend.

Purée the ingredients together, adding more bean liquid (1/4 cup at a time) until you reach the desired creamy consistency. Remember don’t add too much liquid or it will be runny. You want the hummus to be creamy and velvety soft but hold its shape! I always end up using 1 1/4 cups of the garbanzo bean liquid for 2 1/2 cans of garbanzo beans.

NOTE: For the Vitamix users such as myself, start at a slow speed (2/3) then slowly work your way up – you may have to go back and forth a few times. Also use your tamper; if you don’t you’ll end up having to add too much liquid to keep the contents moving and will end up with runny hummus!

Continue blending the ingredients until the hummus is nice and beautifully smooth, about an additional 30 seconds.

Israeli-Style Hummus

Transfer the hummus to a shallow bowl and create a circular well in the middle. To the well, add the reserved za’atar infused reserved chickpeas and sprinkle smoked Spanish paprika around the edges of the well. Lastly, drizzle a small amount of hopefully Israeli extra-virgin olive oil on the chickpeas and around the edges of the well. This unbelievably simple, healthy, and satisfying hummus is served at room temperature and can be accompanied by fresh pita and cut fresh vegetables or placed in a wrap and served with grilled chicken. In Israel I pretty much ate hummus with everything though so there are no hard rules 🙂 The important thing is just to enjoy!!!!

Creamy Dreamy Israeli-Style Hummus
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetizer, Entertain, Lunch, Dinner, Side
Cuisine: Mediterranean, Middle Eastern
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 cups
 
Ingredients
  • 3-15 ounce cans garbanzo beans, (brand: Bush)
  • ¼ cup tahini, (brand: Organic Once Again Unsweetened & Salt-Free Tahini)
  • 1 medium garlic clove
  • 3-4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, about 2 lemons
  • 2 tablespoons Israeli extra-virgin olive oil or other good quality olive oil, (Brand: Sindyanna Organic)
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt, (brand: David's Kosher)
  • ½ teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
  • For garnishment:
  • ⅓ - ½ can of reserved garbanzo beans (reserved from the initial 3 cans)
  • smoked spanish paprika
  • 1-2 tablespoons Israeli extra-virgin olive oil or olive oil of choice
  • za'atar seasoning (optional)
  • fresh chopped parsley (optional)
Instructions
  1. Begin by draining the 3 cans of garbanzo (chickpeas) into a mesh strainer sitting atop a large bowl to collect the bean liquids. Set the bowl of liquid aside...you will need this later to help with the consistency of the hummus.
  2. Remove about a ⅓-1/2 a cans worth of garbanzo beans and place in a bowl. Add a tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil and za'atar seasoning to the chickpeas and stir until combined. Set aside to use later as a garnishment to the hummus.
  3. To a high powered blender or large food processor (fitted with a blade attachment), add the remaining 2½ cans of chickpeas, ¾ cup of the bean liquid, tahini paste, garlic clove with skin removed, lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, cumin, cayenne pepper, kosher salt and black pepper and begin to blend.
  4. Purée the ingredients together, adding more bean liquid (1/4 cup at a time) until you reach the desired creamy consistency. Remember don't add too much liquid or it will be runny. You want the hummus to be creamy and velvety soft but hold its shape! I always end up using 1¼ cups of the garbanzo bean liquid for 2½ cans of garbanzo beans.
  5. NOTE: For the Vitamix users such as myself, start at a slow speed (2/3) then slowly work your way up - you may have to go back and forth a few times. Also use your tamper; if you don't you'll end up having to add too much liquid to keep the contents moving and will end up with runny hummus!
  6. Continue blending the ingredients until the hummus is nice and beautifully smooth, about an additional 30 seconds.
  7. Transfer the hummus to a shallow bowl and create a circular well in the middle. To the well, add the reserved za'atar infused reserved chickpeas and sprinkle smoked Spanish paprika around the edges of the well. Lastly, drizzle a small amount of Israeli extra-virgin olive oil on the chickpeas and around the edges of the well.
  8. Enjoy at room temperature accompanied by pita, veggies or your favorite meats.

 

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