You’re probably familiar with hummus, the healthy bean dip that’s often served with pita bread. Today, you can find it everywhere – from high-end Mediterranean and Middle Eastern restaurants to convenience store cooler cases, airplane snack carts to elementary school lunch menus, and everything in between.
The creamy dip is commonly made with chickpeas (garbanzo beans), tahini (sesame seed paste), olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic. It’s an easy healthy bean dip to make, but subtle changes to the preparation can alter the flavors and consistency of the dip dramatically.
For instance, adding roasted garlic instead of raw garlic will make a sweeter hummus, while adding garlic powder instead of roasted or raw garlic will result in a more subtle flavor.
But it’s time to change things up a bit! And that’s where sun-dried tomatoes come in. Their sweet and savory flavor is the perfect match for the more neutral chickpeas, and they bring a dash of vibrant color as well.
I prefer the jarred variety that comes packed in oil for this recipe, since the flavorful oil can be used to garnish the dip before serving. But you can also use your own homemade sun-dried tomatoes, made in the food dehydrator, reconstituted in hot water for about 30 minutes, and then patted dry. Just remember to add a little extra olive oil to the dip if you go this route.
Bonus points if you use tomatoes grown in your own garden! If you’ve got the gardening bug, check out these tips from our sister site, Gardener’s Path.
Tips and Tricks
As for preparation tips, I recommend using dried beans and processing them when they are still warm from cooking. This is a key step to making your hummus very smooth and creamy. Some cooks even like to add some baking soda to the cooking water, to hasten this process.
Plan ahead by soaking your garbanzos at least 24 hours in advance, or use your pressure cooker to soften them more quickly.
There are even some homemade hummus recipes that call for removing each of the thin skins from every single chickpea, a super tedious process, to make the smoothest puree possible. I’ve tried this and it will do the trick, but it also removes a lot of the healthy fiber from the beans.
Canned chickpeas can be used instead, just be sure to buy a no-salt variety, or rinse them well to remove the salty brine they are stored in.
And don’t forget to save that water, especially from the beans that are packed without any added sodium! It’s a wonderful vegan egg replacement known as aquafaba that can be used to make meringues, homemade mayonnaise, and more.
The following hummus recipe is a favorite of mine that I like to make regularly, and it’s delicious at any time of year. Feel free to make it your own, by using different types of hot pepper to vary the spice level, or adding fresh herbs like basil to create a more Italian-style version.Print
The combination of sun-dried tomatoes and chickpeas in this recipe gives you a delicious Mediterranean twist that is a little tangy, and very rich in flavor.
- 2 cups cooked chickpeas (or 1-2 cans, drained)
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large clove garlic, roasted (or raw) and minced
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained and chopped
- 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1-3 tablespoons water
- If you are using dried beans and you haven’t already cooked them: Soak 1 cup chickpeas in water for 24 hours, changing the water twice. Rinse, then place in a saucepan with just enough water to cover the beans. Bring to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes, then turn off the heat. Cover and allow to sit for 20 minutes. Check to see if they are cooked all the way through, then drain.
- If you still need to roast your garlic: Drizzle a whole bulb with a bit of olive oil and wrap tightly in aluminum foil, then roast in the oven or toaster oven at 425°F for 30-45 minutes, or until soft. Open the foil package and allow to cool.
- Place chickpeas, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, tahini, sun-dried tomatoes, red pepper flakes, salt, and 1 tablespoon water in the food processor. Puree until combined.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl and process for 1-2 more minutes, until smooth. Gradually add additional water as necessary, until desired consistency is reached. Taste and adjust seasoning.
- If you like, garnish with more olive oil, chopped sun-dried tomatoes, and/or minced fresh herbs before serving.
Adapted from a recipe by Sarah Hagstrom.
Cooking By the Numbers…
Step 1 – Prepare Chickpeas, Garlic, and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
If you haven’t already, cook your chickpeas and roast your garlic if you need to. Raw garlic is also delicious and it will contribute an added kick of almost spicy flavor, and canned garbanzos are also fine to use.
Drain and chop the sun-dried tomatoes, using a chef’s knife and a sturdy cutting board. For this recipe, you want to use the jarred kind that come packed in oil, though you could reconstitute the dehydrated version if you like.
Be sure to reserve that flavorful oil, though! It makes a delicious garnish for this tangy dip.
Step 2 – Measure Ingredients
Measure the remaining ingredients for the recipe, so you will have them ready to add to the food processor.
Drain the chickpeas in a colander with a bowl beneath it, reserving the liquid for a later use. Give them a rinse if you are using canned salted beans.
Juice the lemon, and mince the garlic. Want to save yourself a little time? It may be worth it to invest in a garlic press.
Step 3 – Add Ingredients to Food Processor
Add the chickpeas, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, tahini, sun-dried tomatoes, red pepper flakes, salt, and 1 tablespoon water to your food processor with the regular blade insert.
A high-speed blender can also be used to make a nice smooth puree.
Step 4 – Puree
Puree until combined, then scrape down the sides of the food processor. Pulsing a few times at first can help to incorporate the beans.
Continue to puree until smooth, adding water as needed until the desired consistency is reached. Now you are ready to serve the hummus!
Don’t Forget the Oil!
It’s a gorgeous and simple presentation idea that is perfect for parties. I suggest serving this with a drizzle of the oil that comes in the jar of sun-dried tomatoes. It gives the hummus a little extra boost of flavor, and a sprinkling of additional chopped sun-dried tomatoes on top really brings the look together.
Serve with vegetables and pita cut into wedges, or atop a bowl of your favorite whole grains and leafy greens.
Can’t get enough hummus? We’ve got plenty of other flavors to tickle your taste buds with! Here are just a few of our favorites.
If more sun-dried tomatoes are what you’re after, don’t miss this tasty, healthy, and gluten-free recipe for Spiralized Sweet Potato Noodles with Roasted Red Peppers and Sun-Dried Tomatoes.
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Photos by Meghan Bassett, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published by Lynne Jaques on August 26th, 2014. Last updated: May 20, 2018 at 15:53 pm. With additional writing and editing by Meghan Bassett and Allison Sidhu.
Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Lynne Jaques
Lynne is a stay-at-home mother of two boys. As a former US military officer and the spouse of an active duty US military member, Lynne enjoys traveling the world (although not the moving part!) and finding new cuisine and methods of preparing food. She also has the habit of using parenthesis way too much!