White Bean Hummus
A disclaimer: hummus is derived from the Arabic word for "mashed chickpeas," so "White Bean Hummus" is a bit of a misnomer. But definitions—like my recipes—are always changing, and I think we've revised hummus to mean: "any bean spread with tahini." So even though you'll find no chickpeas in my recipe, it still tastes, smells, and looks like hummus, so I'm going to name it accordingly. Traditionalists will scoff, but this creamy hummus tastes too amazing on a falafel sandwich for me to care.
In addition to its lack of chickpeas, this particular hummus' uniqueness is amplified by the inclusion of preserved lemon. The first time I made preserved lemon, I was thrilled because its subtle tartness mixes wonderfully with such a wide variety of flavors. Sure enough, preserved lemon gives my hummus an extra boost of flavor, and now I can't imagine this recipe without it. Preserved lemon is almost impossible to find in stores, not that it matters; the homemade stuff tastes far better, plus it's easy to make. The only hassle is that the fermentation process takes a month. White beans are a different story; in the interest of time, I use canned beans. Keep in mind that falafel has a lot of ingredients. If you don't take a few shortcuts along the way, you'll go crazy trying to make it.
White Bean Hummus
The range of tahini flavors is fairly wide. Some brands are delicious, while others run bitter, so always taste your tahini before adding it to your hummus. In my experience, the jarred varieties tend to be superior to the canned varieties. My personal favorite brand is Al Wadi, but I can't promise it'll be easy to find.
Raw garlic can overwhelm a dish, so I soak mine in the lemon juice for 30 minutes after grating it and before combining it with the other ingredients. I find that this takes away just enough of its bite.
- 1-15ounce can Cannellini Beans (White Kidney) - drained and rinsed
- 1 or ½ clove of garlic (depending on the size of the clove)
- 1-2 tablespoons of fresh squeezed lemon juice (I use 1 and then add more at the end if needed) ( ½ to 1 ounce)
- ¼ preserved lemon - rinsed, seeded and chopped - find the recipe here
- 2 tablespoons tahini (1 ounce)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil (.5 ounce)
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt (or more to taste) (decrease quantity if using table salt)
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
Grate the garlic clove and soak it in the lemon juice for 30 minutes. Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Taste and add salt or additional lemon juice as desired. Serve with falafel sandwiches, pita bread or raw vegetables.