Put the beans in a large bowl or stock pot and cover with water, at least three inches above the beans. Make sure the bowl/pot is large enough to allow room for the beans to expand. Soak the beans in this way at least overnight. I like to soak mine for 24 hours or so.
When you're ready to cook the beans, drain the soaking water out and rinse them in a colander. Put the rinsed beans into a clean stock pot and cover with fresh water at least three inches above the beans. I recommend salting the water some, as it really makes a difference in the resulting flavor of the beans. Bring the water to a boil, then turn down to low and simmer until the beans are cooked. It takes at least an hour (sometimes quite a bit longer) to get them nice and tender.
I sometimes skip the boiling step and simmer the beans for most of the day until I'm ready to use them in the evening. I also like to cook up a bunch of garbanzos at once, and freeze what I won't be using that day in quart-size freezer bags. It makes it so easy to just grab a bag of frozen beans later and throw them into a soup or other dish. (Some say if you're going to freeze beans, to under-cook them slightly so that when you put them into your soup to cook, they won't be over-cooked in the end. I'm not that particular, but use your judgment!)
Chickpeas (garbanzo beans) are high in protein and dietary fiber, which makes them a good carbohydrate choice for people who are insulin-sensitive. They are low in fat and are purported to help lower blood cholesterol levels. What a delicious, healthy food!
I love chickpeas. I love garlic. I love lemony things. I love hummus. 'Nuff said.
2 cups chickpeas
½ Tablespoon tahini (one recipe I looked at called for 2 tablespoons of tahini, but that's just way too much for my taste; use your judgment!)
4 Tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup warm water
1 large head of garlic
1 lemon, juiced
¼ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
a sprinkle of paprika (optional)
(and things for dipping in hummus!)
- First, roast the garlic. I've done this by two different methods:
- Option 1: Cut the top off of the head of garlic as shown above (so that most of the cloves are a little exposed), then coat it in olive oil and wrap it in foil, then bake for 45-60 minutes at 375°F until the garlic is browned on the exposed ends, and all soft and delicious in the middle. Then you just squeeze the roasted cloves out of what's left of the bulb right into your food processor.
- Option 2: Peel the individual garlic cloves like you normally would if you were going to chop it up, then place them all in a small oven-safe dish (like a 3" round glass dish) with olive oil in the bottom. Make sure you don't use more than 4 Tablespoons, since you'll be using the oil in the recipe. Then bake as above (in the dish for 45-60 minutes at 375°F until the garlic is slightly browned on the outside, and all soft and delicious on the inside).
- Put the beans in the food processor.
- Squeeze the lemon juice on top.
- Add the tahini, salt, and cayenne pepper, then the water.
- Blend until the puree is fairly smooth.
- Add the olive oil a tablespoon at a time while pulsing, until the consistency is perfect.
- Scoop into a dish and (optionally) sprinkle with paprika.
- Eat on tortilla chips or, my favorite, tomatoes!
How do you like your hummus?