Bloody Mary Hummus

Friday, July 11, 2014

Bloody Mary Hummus

Hummus is one of those foods that’s hard to improve upon, when it’s perfect. When hummus is right, it is feather-light and smooth as silk, vanilla blonde in color. My hummus often comes out dense, chalky, and mottled with chickpea bits, but this never stops me from finishing the batch, often in one sitting, because it usually still tastes good. Not perfect, but good enough to eat.

So far as I can tell, great hummus needs chickpeas with their skins removed, whether dried or canned, enough liquid to thin it out, and a machine strong enough to blend it smooth, which sounds obvious, but still took me awhile to land upon. The perfect Bloody Mary is another favorite thing, and that’s how this recipe came to be. Two favorite foods, combined. Can you mess with the classics? Or better yet, should you? The same reason to do so could be the same for why not to: Life’s short.

Let’s get to it. Happy weekend.

Bloody Mary Hummus

1 15 oz can chickpeas or 1.5 cups cooked dried chickpeas (skins removed)*
1 large clove garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
¼ packed cup sundried tomatoes in oil, chopped
½ tomato, peeled and cut into chunks**
2 tablespoons tahini
2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
1½ tablespoons lemon juice
¼ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons Tobasco
dash olive brine***
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil + extra for serving

In a food processor, pulse all ingredients except olive oil until incorporated. With speed on high, pour in a steady stream the olive oil and continue to blend for a few minutes until smooth.

Garnish: more olive oil, crushed red pepper, radish, olives. Serve with celery, shrimp, or any other of your favorite additions.

*Whether using dried or canned chickpeas, if you take off their skins, your hummus will be smoother. I’d never done this before now, but it makes a gigantic difference. Squeeze each bean between your fingers, and the skin pops off easily. A tedious task, but very much worth it.

**Used to get a headier tomato flavor, and also to add liquid.

***If using dried chickpeas, save some of the cooking liquid and use it to thin out your hummus. This would be a good way to cut down on some of the sodium, too, because you could use less Tobasco, olive brine, and Worcestershire.