toppings, toppings, toppings are… unecessary. But lovely! Here we use some chickpeas reserved from the original blending, plus pine nuts and za’atar, plus a healthy drizzle of olive oil. In a perfect world, you’ll use a good olive oil to make the hummus, and a GREAT olive oil to top it. Other topping options: some crumbled merguez sausage, chopped fresh cilantro, tangy dried sumac… or a whole chopped Middle Easter salad, with tomatoes, cukes, feta, olives. Be creative!

Forget potato salad.  This is my #1 fave backyard/cookout/guests-on-the-deck accompaniment.  I may say “accompaniment,” but surround it with enough breads and veggies, and it’s a meal in itself.     

Three tricks make this hummus as silky as possible.  First, we process the raw garlic in the lemon juice; the acid from the lemon mellows the raw garlic.  Second, we simmer the chickpeas with a little baking soda, which softens them almost to the point of disintegration, and makes for an incredible level of creaminess. Eventually, the residual baking soda will also neutralize some of the acidity of the lemon.  Third, we’re very generous with the tahini and olive oil, and drizzle more olive oil on top.   

Shelf-life is a problem with store-bought hummus — a problem that is solved either with chemical preservatives, or an excess of lemon juice. We don’t use either. So, use this up within 3 days is my suggestion. Or freeze it for later.

Serves about 10-12 as a side, 6-8 as a light lunch with pita & veggies 


  • 3 C cooked chickpeas, from…
    •        2 x 15-oz cans, or… 
    •        1 x 29-oz can, or… 
    •        made from scratch s
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, chopped 
  • 1 C good organic tahini (we especially endorse the Tohum brand)
  • ½ Tbsp cumin powder 
  • ¼ – ½ C ice water 
  • 1 tsp baking soda 
  • 1 tsp salt 
  • ½ C high-quality lemon juice 
  • 2 Tbsp virgin olive oil, plus extra to drizzle 
  • some fun toppings (see #5 below)


  1. Reserve 2 Tbsp chickpeas for garnish. 
  2. In a medium sauce pot, cover the remaining chickpeas with 2-3 inches water.  Add baking soda and bring to a simmer.  Continue simmering 20 minutes until they’re mushy.  Rinse 30 seconds.   
  3. In a food processor equipped with a standard cutting blade, spin the garlic, lemon juice, and salt at high speed until pureed.  Let sit a few minutes.   
  4. Add everything else, and run food processor 5 minutes.  Adjust water, salt & lemon to taste. 
  5. Spread over a shallow serving dish.  Mound the reserved chickpeas in the center.  Drizzle generously with high quality olive oil – either by itself, or after sprinkling with za’atar, sumac, cumin, pine nuts, cooked crumbled merguez (spicy North African lamb sausage), pine nuts, or all of the above.  

If you don’t have za’atar in your spice cabinet, you should! A Middle Eastern (non-spicy) spice blend of sumac and thyme, sesame and cumin, it’s awesome here, on eggs or yogurt, to finish avocado toast, etc.