Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Black Bean Hummus

In past years, I've had hummus at restaurants and parties and thought it was pretty good, but not something that was really worth the trouble of replicating at home. Traditional hummus uses chickpeas, which can also be on the pricier side as far as beans go. That all changed when I had some black bean hummus from Grace's Goodness. Holy frijoles! It was awesome: flavorful, herby, fresh. The type of food that a few days later you get a serious craving for.  My husband and I gobbled up 8 ounces in one sitting and quickly decided we needed to know how to make this delectable spread. After looking at a few recipes and playing with the herbs a little bit this is what we came up with:

Black Bean Hummus
(Yields maybe 1-1 1/2 cups-It's hard to say since we inhaled it so quickly)

1 can black beans or 15 ounces black beans
1-2 cloves garlic
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons tahini
3/4 teaspoons cumin
a pinch up to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon dried parsley (or a  tablespoon fresh)
salt to taste 

Rinse the beans well and process everything but the beans in a food processor. Add the beans and process to the desired consistency. I like mine the texture of refried beans with bean pieces still visible (I usually use my immersion blender to get this consistency). 

A few notes : 

If your using canned beans don't add any salt until you taste at the end since most canned beans are salted. Ours didn't need any.

The way you prep the garlic will dramatically effect the flavor. If you use the processor or immersion blender it's going to bring out the spicy element of the garlic, so take it easy on the cayenne, a pinch or two will do it. If you want a more subtle garlic flavor, hand mince it and stir it in at the end or substitute powdered garlic, then you might want to add a little more cayenne. 

If you're not familiar with tahini, it is a paste made of roasted sesame seeds and it can usually be found in the ethnic food aisle.  A can will run you around $5 bucks and will last a long time. Don't skip this ingredient as it adds a lot of the flavor! 

Serving suggestions: dip for veggies or crackers, sandwich spread, or my favorite is on toasted pita with slices of ripe tomato. 

If you're lazy and happen to live in the Atlanta area, you can score some of Grace's version through her site or at some of the farmers markets in the area. I have adored everything I have eaten of her's. Her pimento cheese is one of the best I've ever had and last week she had a blueberry buttermilk soup that was so good I literally licked the jar out. You can often find her at the Wednesday Decatur Farmers Market.

A Digression About Spices:

I like a lot of flavor and it shows in my spice rack. We're talking 50+ items with both regular and smoked paprika and three colors of peppercorn. I occasionally buy top shelf booze for a teaspoon in a recipe. Yeah, I'm that person. I get most of my spices from Your Dekalb Farmer's Market (to be fair, not a real farmers market, but a wonderful Atlanta resource nonetheless). Having fresh spices really makes a difference, especially in recipes like the one above. So if your spices have been in your pantry since the beginning of time, please know that your final product may need some adjustments.

I know I promised a post about natural cosmetics and it's coming... eventually.


  1. I love a good hummus and this one sounds fabulous given that I have TONS of black beans around here! In response to your comment, that's actually the first thing I've made from the Tupelo Honey Cafe Cookbook but everything in it looks really good!

  2. This hummus became my go-to summer lunch and I've since made the hummus using dried beans. 1/4 lb uncooked dry beans equals about 1 can. I found that the weight in beans is really different since you get a lot of water in the canned kind. I usually use 1/2 lb and double the recipe.

    I made the coleslaw and both my husband and I loved it. His comment was that it was "the best aspects of potato salad and coleslaw combined". I only used about 3 tablespoons of sugar per your recommendation and that was just right. (Not really a surprise that a Southern cookbook would go a bit overboard on the sugar!) I did however sprinkle extra sunflower seeds all over my servings. Yum!