12 Tasty Twists On Hummus

Used by many a chef to add texture and flavour to a variety of dishes, both shop-bought and homemade hummus can liven up everything from salads and pasta to desserts and dressings. Here, eight pros explain how to make the most of it.
INA PETERS/STOCKSY UNITED, NATASA MANDIC/STOCKSY UNITED

Amy Elles, The Harbour Cafe

“Hummus topped with anything makes for a brilliant midweek supper – just pair it with a simple green salad or even some chips. I like to serve it with chorizo for a simple supper. First, make the hummus by adding 1 tin of chickpeas, 2 tbsp of tahini, ½ a clove of garlic, 1 tsp of salt, 50ml of olive oil, 100ml of water, 50ml of lemon juice and a pinch of white pepper to a food processor and blend until smooth. You may need to add a little more water depending on how thick you like it. Next, fry some chorizo in a little rapeseed oil until brown on the outside and cooked through. Let it rest for a few minutes then chop it up. Spread the hummus in a thin layer on a pretty plate and sprinkle the chorizo, some chopped parsley, diced tomato and some extra virgin olive oil.”

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Irini Tzortzoglou, MasterChef Champion 2019

“Try serving warm hummus instead of a purée – it goes especially well next to fish or meat. Use a mix of cooked pulses with tahini, spices, lemon or lemon zest, and whatever herbs you have to hand, sometimes thinning it with a little stock. It is absolutely delicious. On Masterchef, I served a dish of pan-fried duck breast on a bed of a hot cannellini bean hummus to the critics. While at first judge Grace Dent thought hot hummus would be ‘disgusting' – her own words – she ended up loving it and polished it off.”  

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Julie Waddell, Moorish Humous

“For our latest launch, we wanted to create something delicious, yet simple, made with natural ingredients for people to enjoy a little indulgence without having to compromise on flavour. So we created a chocolate hummus. It’s made with a blend of cocoa, coconut milk, chickpeas, tahini and a splash of pomegranate molasses. Rich, creamy and wonderfully versatile, it’s ideal for dunking with breadsticks, dolloping on pancakes, simply spreading on toast, melted into porridge, blended into smoothies or served with fresh strawberries – and you can afford to be generous because it contains up to 70% less sugar than other brands of chocolate spread.”

Visit LoveMoorish.co.uk

NATASA MANDIC/STOCKSY UNITED
We like our hummus smooth and silky, but you can make it as coarse as you like – it’s a matter of taste, like smooth or crunchy peanut butter.
MEG GREENACRE

Heather Kaniuk, Longboys

“If you’re big a fan of hummus, you’ll love this beetroot version. The colour is simply divine, and the ruby shade brightens any mezze platter or crudités. If you have fresh beets, simply wrap in tinfoil and bake for 1 hour at 180°C, otherwise use store-bought cooked beetroot for a quick and easy alternative. To make the hummus, drain the chickpeas and rinse lightly. Place 2 tbsp of tahini paste, beetroot, the juice of half a lemon, 1 clove of garlic, 1 tsp of ground cumin, 1 tbsp of zaatar, 2 tbsp of olive oil and salt and pepper into a blender or food processor. Pulse until you have a smooth but thick paste, then season to taste. Serve with pita chips, lavosh crackers or crudités.”

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Giancarlo Vatteroni, Korto

“At Korto, we like our hummus very smooth and silky, but you can make this as coarse as you like – it’s a matter of taste, like smooth or crunchy peanut butter. I like to use good quality chickpeas and prefer large chickpeas, usually of Spanish variety, where the outer chickpea skin is very delicate and dissolves in the blending process. Blend a 400g jar of chickpeas with 1 large clove of garlic, the juice of one lemon, 40ml of tahini paste, 20ml of water and a pinch of salt. When it comes to toppings, I like adding extra virgin olive oil, smoked paprika, nigella seeds and coriander; or combining pomegranate seeds with pomegranate molasses, extra virgin olive oil and a few drops of lemon juice.”

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Hannah McCollum, ChicP

“Ideal for dunking, spreading or dolloping, hummus is the perfect accompaniment to any picnic or BBQ. More than just a dip, you can use it to top herby potato skins, create a healthy breakfast bowl and use on bruschetta. It’s also great with pasta. To make herby hummus spaghetti, preheat the oven to 180°C. Chop 250g of cherry tomatoes, add them to a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil and salt, then roast them in the oven for 30 minutes. Cook your pasta according to the packet instructions, and loosen your hummus with lemon juice and olive oil. When the pasta and tomatoes are cooked, mix all the ingredients together, along with a couple of tbsp of cooking water, then serve.”

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Mathew Williams, Zorba Foods

“Hummus is the quintessential Middle Eastern dip made by blending chickpeas with tahini, garlic, oil, lemon and seasoning. It’s our staple at Zorba: in fact, we use 12,000 tonnes of it each year. To make it even more special, try using extra virgin olive oil, which gives it a rich flavour. Hummus is very versatile and works well with additional flavours. Red pepper and beetroot are two great examples, but hummus also carries spice really well – a sprinkle of paprika adds both a visual and chilli kick. Save a few chickpeas and sprinkle them on top with some freshly chopped parsley, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of paprika. Hummus is great served with crudites or mopped up with some flatbread, but you can also use it a base for pizza, as a marinade on chicken or as a mix in burgers.”

Visit ZorbaFoods.co.uk

Meg Greenacre, Erpingham House

“To me, garlic is the most important flavour when making hummus. To do this, confit the garlic by gently heating the cloves in the oil you plan to use to blend into the hummus, until the cloves are soft. Then, blitz the confit garlic with a small amount of the oil to create a smooth paste, before blending it with chickpeas, tahini, the rest of the confit garlic oil, seasoning, and lemon juice. This creates a wonderfully creamy garlic flavour that isn’t as harsh as when using raw garlic cloves. Adding a dash of lemon juice adds another depth of flavour to the hummus and lightens the rich garlic taste, keeping the hummus refreshing and vibrant. It’s also worth trying to pair hummus with a local, seasonal treat (such as Norfolk asparagus). Picture a heaped spoonful of hearty hummus, served with elegant spears of asparagus lying neatly on top. Texture is also one of the most important elements of a dish to me, so it’s great to ensure any creamy hummus dish has an element of crunch – create a crumb made by roughly blitzing dukkah, hazelnuts and cashews.”

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