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Judith Hurley's Health Tips

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Jim Coleman Recipes

Half-time Hummus


  • 3 cups dried chickpeas (about 1½ lb.), picked over, soaked overnight in cold water to cover mixed with 1 teaspoon baking soda, and drained, or 6 cups cooked chickpeas, drained, reserving the liquid
  • ½cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 large garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1-tablespoon salt, or more to taste
  • ½ cup tahini, stirred if the oil has separated
  • ¾ cup fresh lemon juice
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste


  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 1-teaspoon whole sumac
  • Seeds from ¼ pomegranate (optional)


Drain the chickpeas and place in a pot of lightly salted water to cover by 2". Bring the water to a boil over high heat until it foams, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove the foam with a skimmer and continue to boil, partially covered, until tender, 1 to 3 hours, depending on the age of the chickpeas, so keep checking. Add boiling water to the pot to keep the chickpeas continuously covered, if necessary. Drain and save 1½ cups of the cooking water. Return the cooked chickpeas to the same pot filled with some cold water so you can rub the skins off the chickpeas with your fingers (many of them will rise to the surface).

Process the drained chickpeas with ½cup of the olive oil and 1 cup of the reserved chickpea cooking water in a food processor until creamy.

In a mortar, pound the garlic with 1-tablespoon salt until it is a creamy mush. In a small bowl, beat the tahini and lemon juice together slowly. If it is too thick, add water, never more lemon juice. Stir the tahini-and-lemon juice mixture into the chickpea puree, adjust the salt, and season with pepper. Check the consistency, if it is too thick, like oatmeal; add some of the remaining reserved chickpea cooking water until it is smoother, like Cream of Wheat. Check the taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. If you do need to adjust the taste, the process must be repeated - in other words, mash some more garlic with salt or mix 1-tablespoon tahini with 1 tablespoon lemon juice.

In a small skillet, cook the pine nuts in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat until light brown, stirring about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.

**** Spoon the hummus onto a large round serving platter, not a bowl. Warm the remaining 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil. Make spiral or fan-shaped furrows in the hummus and fill with the warm olive oil. Sprinkle the toasted pine nuts around. Garnish the edges with mint leaves and sprinkle the chopped mint on top. Sprinkle the sumac over and serve with warm Arabic flatbread or pita bread.

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