Preserved Lemon Hummus

Preserved Lemon Hummus

 

A happy accident (aka failing to make a grocery list) gave me this recipe. It's become a staple in our house

A happy accident (aka failing to make a grocery list) gave me this recipe. It’s become a staple in our house

This recipe was a very happy accident that has become an intentional staple in my fridge.  Here is the fascinating tale: I had a hummus craving, as I usually do, and found that while I had cooked garbanzos in the freezer, plenty of roasted garlic and tahini, I didn’t have lemons or salt. (An aside: I don’t think I’d ever run out of salt before I started fermenting. Now, it happens all the time).

I had a hummus craving (as I usually do) and found that while I had cooked garbanzos in the freezer, plenty of garlic to roast, great tahini from my local Mediterranean market, Bitar’s, I didn’t have lemons or salt.  Say what?  I didn’t have lemons or salt.  But aha! I did have preserved lemons, because I tend to make them in large batches.  So into my almost-made hummus, I threw a single, whole, preserved lemon and OH. MAN.

Smashed preserved lemons

I pack my lemons tight, so sometimes the ones at the bottom of the jar get smashed. For me, they embody wabi sabi, though I’ll accept that some might think they’re just ugly.

This may be my new favorite thing.  The flavor is rich and intense, which makes sense.   The flavor, not the texture, of preserved lemon is something like a salty lemon curd. This hummus can get a little more solid in the fridge, so you can gently warm it if you like a thinner texture, or just add more liquid while you’re making the hummus.

I find it is much easier to make hummus with warm beans fresh from the pot; it just seems to help the texture of the finished product. Feel free to reheat frozen beans, though, if that’s what works best for you. I did the first time I made this recipe and I found it quite tasty. Still, freshly prepped beans do tend to give a nicer consistency.

Preserved Lemon Hummus

preserved lemon hummus with pita bread

PRESERVED LEMON HUMMUS RECIPE

Hummus recipe adapted from Food52 “Genius Hummus” that itself was loosely adapted from the wonderful, highly recommended book Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi

Lemons that were preserved without spices or other flavor additions work best in this recipe, but I’m kind of digging this most recent batch that I made with a warm-spiced lemons.  Lately, I’ve been using a new-to-me brand of tahini (It’s Soom, and they call it tehina) and it is quite lovely. I highly recommend it if you want quality and have access.

Ingredients

  • 1 and 1/4 cups of dried chickpeas (or 3 and 1/2 cups of cooked chickpeas)
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda (if cooking beans)
  • 1 bulb raw garlic (for cooking with the beans), as much of the outer, papery skin removed as comes off easily with some rubbing.
  • 1 bulb garlic, for roasting (adjust based on your preferences. I like a very garlicky hummus.  No reason not to adjust this down if you prefer a less garlicky version)
  • 3/4 cup light roast tahini
  • 1 whole, preserved lemon, seeds removed
  • 1 cup ice water, divided (I put a couple ice cubes in my liquid measure and pour water to the top. Don’t pour the ice cubes in, though)
  • Olive oil for topping it off

How To

  1. Roast then peel one bulb of garlic.  You can store it in the fridge for a few days, if necessary. Set aside until you’re ready to puree everything together.
  2. If cooking your beans, soak them overnight.  Once they’re soaked, place your garbanzos, baking soda, the other bulb of garlic and at least 3 quarts of water into a large saucepan.  Beans should be covered with enough water to allow them to double in size. Cook them over medium high heat for 30-45 minutes, skimming the foam frequently.  They are done when they are very soft.  It doesn’t matter if they break apart a bit, since they’ll be smooshed as much as possible in the food processor, but you don’t want mush.
  3. Discard the garlic bulb from the bean pot (I promise, it’s no longer tasty) and drain the beans.
  4. Add the beans to your food processor and process for at least two to four minutes, until they form a thick paste. Add the tahini and the garlic and process until the mixture is very creamy. Add the preserved lemon and process until the mixture is uniform and looks like thick hummus. If your lemons were “almost quartered” you might want to break them up a bit, depending on the strength of your food processor.  Mine easily obliterates a whole lemon.
  5. Very slowly add 3/4 of a cup of the ice water to the mix while your processor is turned on.  My food processor has a very convenient, tiny hole in the bottom of the pusher in the feed tube.  This allows me to add liquids very slowly.  If yours doesn’t have that, you’ll have to manually add your liquid slowly and carefully through the feeder tube.
  6. Let the food processor go to work for 3-4 minutes, then check the consistency of the hummus.  You should be left with a gorgeous, creamy texture.
  7.  You can store this in the fridge for a week.  I usually store some in the freezer, because it makes quite a large batch. I like to serve it pooled with good olive oil, but that can be skipped.
It keeps great for a week in the fridge, but I prefer it in the first three days when the deep flavors of the preserved lemon are most prominent. It is possible that the flavor is just as strong on day 7 as on day three, but since I inhale this stuff when I have it, my palate adjusts.

It keeps great for a week in the fridge, but I prefer it in the first three days when the deep flavors of the preserved lemon are most prominent. It is possible that the flavor is just as strong on day 7 as on day three, but since I inhale this stuff when I have it, my palate adjusts.

Basics Recipes using Ferments

7 comments

  1. Elsabeth says:

    I’m a little curious about your directions regarding the garlic! There are two bulbs, looks like. One you roast and puree with the beans, and one you… boil with the beans? And then discard?
    Thanks!

  2. Elsabeth says:

    Thanks Amanda! The directions don’t differentiate between the two bulbs of garlic – calling for one raw and one roasted, then telling you to roast your garlic (I thought, the raw one? because the other one’s already roasted? But that’s probably just my brain being odd), then not saying roasted/raw when referring to either one later – and they don’t actually say to put ANY garlic in with the beans, just to take some out.

    No complaints, though – I made the recipe yesterday and it’s fantastic! Always glad to have more uses for preserved lemons. I hadn’t realized my food processor had a little hole like that, either, which will be useful for other things too.

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