In this dish, east meets further east. When I first made it, I asked my husband if he liked it. He kept slathering wedges of pita, only pausing to answer "I'll let you know after it's all gone."
The scallions are key; sprinkle generously to flavor every bite.
Note: Black garlic is obtainable online; I purchase it at Whole Foods (usually in the fall).
Plan on soaking beans 6-8 hours (or overnight); active time is 5 - 10 minutes. —creamtea
3 cups hummus
For the chickpeas
(approximately) dried chickpeas
halved cherry or grape tomatoes, for serving
pita bread, for serving
assorted fillings, for serving: thinly shredded cabbage, salted and dressed with olive oil and lemon juice; halved cherry or grape tomatoes; sliced hard-cooked eggs, etc.
salt for soaking
sweet onion, such as vidalia, peeled and left whole
cloves garlic, peeled
fresh bay leaf
1 - 2 teaspoons
For the hummus
the cooked beans in their broth
head black garlic, peel carefully removed from each clove (it helps to slice each lengthwise with a small sharp knife, open each clove bookwise and dislodge the flesh from the papery skin), the cloves chopped
(rounded) miso paste
hot water (about 2-3 T or enough to make a paste when added to the miso)
extra-virgin olive oil
honey (or more to taste)
juice of 1/2 lemon
scallions, sliced thinly (include the white and about 3 inches of green)
Toasted pita, as an accompaniment
Accompaniments: halved cherry or grape tomatoes; shredded cabbage and quartered,sliced cucumbers combined and dressed lightly with lemon juice, salt and olive oil; and/or hard-cooked eggs
A day ahead, sort and rinse beans in several changes of water. Place in a bowl and cover with water to a depth of about two inches above the level of the beans
Add 2-3 teaspoons salt and stir in.
Soak beans overnight
The next day, drain and rinse beans. Place in a heavy pot ( a clay bean pot is great but any heavy pot will work) along with the onion, the garlic, the bay leaf and the salt. Stir well to dissolve the salt. Place on stove burner.
Turn on the flame to medium low and bring beans to a low boil (if using a clay pot, start on low flame and gradually increase so as not to shock the pot). Cover partially and reduce flame; simmer 45 minutes, (longer time may be required for older beans) until beans are tender. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking to the bottom of the pot. To ascertain doneness use your sense of hearing: when you first add the beans, they will make a bright, dry thud against the sides of the pot when stirred. As they absorb water, they quiet down and make a softer, duller sound (test several beans by slicing through with a knife on a small dish to see that all are fully cooked through).
When tender, allow beans to cool completely; remove bay leaf and onion (the latter is not a bad snack for the cook, along with a squirt of fresh lemon and a sprinkle of salt), reserve the garlic cloves. There should be a small amount of bean broth, about a few tablespoons to a half cup; leave beans in broth. The beans can be prepared up till this step one day in advance.
[They can also be cooked in an Instant pot: 35-40 minutes (unsoaked); 15 minutes soaked, covered with salted water ~ 1 to 1-1/2 inches above the beans.]
For the hummus
Drain the beans, reserving the broth, and place in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Add the garlic cloves that you simmered with the beans, and the black garlic.
In a small bowl, thin the miso with 2 tablespoons or so hot water and stir to dissolve-- you want a creamy consistency. Add the miso mixture to the beans. Scrape in the honey and drizzle in the olive oil and lemon juice, along with the minced garlic. Add with 2-3 tablespoons of the bean broth.
Blend the mixture until smooth--you want the black garlic pieces to be fully ground down. Taste for seasoning and adjust texture (add more bean broth, warm water or olive oil to thin out if desired). It should have a good mix of sweet and salty. Adjust to taste, adding more honey or olive oil if needed and blending to a smooth consistency. You should have about 3 cups.
Serve the hummus on a large, flat plate or platter, swirling it a bit with a knife or spatula to create crevices. Drizzle more olive oil into the crevices. Sprinkle generously with scallions. Serve with the toasted pita wedges, vegetables, or crusty baguette
It is even better the next day after the flavors have cozied up to each other.