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Killer HUMMUS with Whole Chickpeas

Ultra-creamy and just garlicky enough, of all the hummus recipes I’ve made over the years, this one is the keeper. Part of the key to its plush, smooth texture is to puree the chickpeas while they are still warm, which encourages them to break down more completely than do cold peas. You’ll note that the chickpeas are not peeled here as they are in some more fanatical hummus recipes. That’s because they are cooked with baking soda, which helps soften the skins enough to process the beans into a smooth puree. However, if you are using canned chickpeas and want to peel them, or if you just feel like peeling your freshly cooked peas (which is certainly a kind of repetitive therapy), go right ahead.

1 cup dried chickpeas (or use canned chickpeas; see Note)

3¾ teaspoons kosher salt, plus more as needed

1 teaspoon baking soda

⅓ cup fresh lemon juice (from 1½ to 2 large lemons)

2 to 3 garlic cloves, to taste, grated on a Microplane or minced

1 cup tahini

¾ teaspoon ground cumin

4 to 6 tablespoons ice water

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

Sweet or hot paprika, for dusting

TOTAL TIME: 2 HOURS + AT LEAST 2 HOURS SOAKING TIME

3¾ teaspoons kosher salt, plus more as needed

1 teaspoon baking soda

⅓ cup fresh lemon juice (from 1½ to 2 large lemons)

2 to 3 garlic cloves, to taste, grated on a Microplane or minced

1 cup tahini

¾ teaspoon ground cumin

4 to 6 tablespoons ice water

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

Sweet or hot paprika, for dusting

TOTAL TIME: 2 HOURS + AT LEAST 2 HOURS SOAKING TIME

MAKES APPROXIMATELY 3½ CUPS/SERVES 6 TO 8

1. Soak the chickpeas overnight in water to cover and a large pinch of salt. Or quick-soak by covering the chickpeas with boiling water and letting them soak for 2 hours. Either way, drain and rinse the chickpeas before proceeding.

2. Place the chickpeas in a large pot and add enough water to cover them by 4 inches. Add the baking soda and 2 teaspoons of the salt, and bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat and simmer until the chickpeas are very, very soft, 1 to 1½ hours (overcooked chickpeas work well for a smooth hummus). Drain; you’ll have about 3 cups. Reserve 3 tablespoons for garnish. Continue with the next step while the chickpeas are still warm.

3. Using a blender or food processor, blend the lemon juice, garlic, and remaining 1¾ teaspoons salt. Let the mixture sit for 10 minutes for the salt to dissolve and the flavors to develop. Then add the tahini and the cumin, and blend, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed, until a thick paste forms. With the blender running, gradually add the ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the sauce is smooth.

4. Add the warm drained chickpeas and the olive oil to the blender, and blend, scraping down the sides of the bowl, until the mixture is smooth, about 2 minutes. The mixture should be silky smooth. Feel free to add more water if you think the hummus is too thick. Taste for seasoning, and add more salt and/or lemon juice if needed.

5. Spread the hummus out on a flat plate, and garnish it with olive oil and a dusting of paprika.

NOTE: If you like, you can substitute canned chickpeas here, though the flavor won’t be quite as sweet and earthy as it is when made with freshly cooked peas, but it will still be quite good. To make the substitution, drain and rinse 2 15-ounce cans of canned chickpeas before starting the recipe at step 3. Microwave the canned chickpeas for 30 to 45 seconds, until warm, before adding them to the blender in step 4, and add 2 to 4 tablespoons warm water; you may need to run the blender for up to 5 minutes.

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