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chickpea hummus with homemade tahini and chipotle pepper flakes

Light, heat and time are the enemies of oil. Olive oil is certainly sensitive to these which is why we us olive oil within a year from pressing. Nut and seed oils like toasted sesame and walnut are even more delicate. When they oxidize they go rancid and you can taste a sour note in them.

It should have come as no surprise when I read an article espousing the power of fresh, homemade tahini, especially when it came to making hummus. But this simple explanation was mind-blowing. Tahini is a paste made from toasted sesame seeds and olive oil. While this product has become more popular, you still don’t know how long it has sat on that grocer’s shelf and how it was stored before it got there. Which means, often the tahini we buy has already or quickly develops those bitter, off flavors.

What’s the solution? Homemade. Is it time consuming to make? No more than 5-7 minutes, most of which is watching it toast in the pan and then spin around in your food processor. And, after all, if you are making homemade hummus you’ve already committed to a slightly longer effort anyway.

The only bad news is once you go homemade it may be hard to go back. The good news, ever single, rich, toasty bite will be worth it.

Chipotle garlic hummus

Makes about 2 1/2 cups

The secret is in the fresh, toasty taste of homemade tahini and the smoky heat of Chipotle.

It should have come as no surprise when I read an article espousing the power of fresh, homemade tahini, especially when it came to making hummus. But this simple explanation was mind-blowing. Tahini is a paste made from toasted sesame seeds and olive oil. While this product has become more popular, you still don't know how long it has sat on that grocer's shelf and how it was stored before it got there. Which means, often the tahini we buy has already or quickly develops those bitter, off flavors.

For hummus:

  • 4 cups cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed, reserve liquid (this is about 2 cans)
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup tahini*
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 4 tbs olive oil – the good stuff!
  • Chipotle pepper flakes or a pinch of Ancho chile powder
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

For Tahini:

  • 1/2 cup white sesame seeds
  • 2 tbs olive oil – the good stuff!

Directions

  • Make the Tahini: toast the sesame seeds in a large skillet over low heat. Let seeds cool and grind in a food process until a thick paste forms. This will take a couple of minutes and at the beginning it will seem like nothing is happening. Just wait patiently. Thin with olive oil as needed. Reserve.
  • Place chickpeas in food processer with garlic and chop finely. Add tahini, lemon juice, olive oil and a pinch of Chipotle pepper flakes to taste. Process until smooth, scraping down sides as needed. Add reserved liquid to thin hummus as needed. Season to taste with salt. Serve garnished with parsley and a drizzle of olive oil.

TIP: Chipotle pepper flakes are hot! Start with just a pinch and let the hummus rest for 10 minutes after finishing before adding more.

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