I make a lot of hummus. It is a great way to use up left over pita bread, and my family always devours it when I serve it with broccoli florets. I almost always make the basic restaurant-style hummus both because I love it and because it takes just a few minutes with ingredients I nearly always have on hand. However, I’ve been meaning to try this variation with roasted garlic forever. The problem is, it requires a bit of foresight – at least enough for you to roast the garlic. Finally I buckled down and decided it was time to try this stuff already! Just as expected, it tasted great. The garlic flavor was very subtle – basically, this tasted like the regular hummus but with a more complex flavor. I realized afterward that I pureed the toasted garlic slices in with the hummus instead of using them as a garnish as I was supposed to. I’ll chalk that up to making pita and hummus at 10:30 pm on a work night, and I’m sure it would taste great whatever way you choose to garnish it.
Yield: about two cups
2 heads garlic, intact
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
3 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
¼ cup water
6 tbsp. tahini
1 (14 oz.) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 clove garlic, minced
½ tsp. salt
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1 tbsp. fresh parsley, minced
Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Remove the papery outer skins of the garlic heads, leaving them otherwise intact. Chop off the top quarter of the head so that all of the cloves are exposed. Wrap the garlic in foil and bake until very tender, about 1 hour. Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a small skillet over medium-low heat. Add the sliced garlic cloves and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the garlic to a paper towel-lined plate, reserving the cooking oil. Set aside. Once the roasted garlic is cool enough to handle, squeeze the cloves from their skins (you should have about ¼ cup).
In a small prep bowl, combine the lemon juice and water. In another bowl, whisk together the reserved garlic cooking oil and the tahini. In the bowl of a food processor, process the chickpeas, the roasted garlic puree, the remaining clove of garlic, salt and cayenne until the mixture is finely ground, about 20 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. With the machine running, add the lemon juice-water mixture through the feed tube in a steady stream. Scrape down the bowl and process for an additional minute. With the machine running, add the oil-tahini mixture through the feed tube in a steady stream. Scrape down the bowl and continue to process until the hummus is smooth and creamy. Transfer to a serving bowl, drizzle with olive oil, top with toasted garlic slices and minced fresh parsley, if desired.