For more photos and recipe notes, visit Cardamom and Tea. Hummus is sometimes dense, cakey, clumpy, heavy, gritty, and bland (a dreadful combination!), but there are a few easy tricks to making really good hummus. Follow this recipe for a perfect plate of zesty lemon hummus. —Kathryn Pauline
2 large plates of hummus
1 or 2
medium cloves of garlic
15.5 ounce cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
fresh lemon juice (1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons, or about 3 lemons) *
Salt to taste
Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
Spices or herbs for topping (for instance, sumac, za'atar, paprika, or cayenne pepper)
Chop or mash the garlic clove in a food processor or mortar and pestle.
Add the chickpeas and grind them until they look like a gritty paste.
Add the lemon juice and continue to process for a minute or two, until the hummus becomes smooth.
Add the tahini and process until combined.
Add a little salt, to taste, depending on how well the chickpeas have already been seasoned.
Spread half of the hummus in a thin, even layer on a plate (about 1/2 - 3/4 inch thick). Drag the back of a spoon across the surface, dipping the spoon into the hummus to create little pockets as you go. Moving in a spiral over the surface works well.
Use the rest of the hummus for another plate, or keep it in the refrigerator for another time.
Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and dust with herbs or spices.
* This hummus recipe is very lemony and vibrant. If you like less lemon, feel free to replace some amount of the lemon juice with an equal amount of water.