Hummus Elegantus comfortable in clay or crystal

Although most popular in the Middle East, nowdays hummus feels well at home throughout most of the Western Hemisphere and Europe. Rich in protein, vitamins, and minerals, this dish can play a duet as an appetizer for your dinner party and lunch for a lite fare gathering. Although the basic ingredients are found in most recipes i.e., chick peas (garbanzos), garlic, and olive oil, there are many varients of the dish. You can dress it down with just basics or class it up with a touch of this and a touch of that and give it a wonderful assortment of subtle yet exotic flavors. This preparation is a bit dressed up and hence I called it Hummus Elegantus. I think you'll agree this melange of ingredients will wow the palate. Let's gather them now:

2 cans of chick peas (also called garbanzo beans), save 1/4 cup of the juices
2 garlic bulbs, roasted (see directions below)
3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons of sesame seeds (alternatively you may use tahini)
Juice from one fresh lemon
1/4 teaspoon of white finely ground pepper
1 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of smoked paprika (hot or mild, your choice)
1 teaspoon of pimentos (for garnish)
1 teaspoon of capers (for garnish)
flat leaf parsley (for garnish)
1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard (medium hot)

First, preheat your oven to 400. Place garlic bulbs unpeeled, directly on the middle oven rack and roast for 50 minutes to 1 hour until cloves are nice and soft. Don't short the roasting time because you want the garlic to be "creamy" when blended.

While garlic is roasting, drain the beans, remembering to save 1/4 cup of the liquid. Set liquid aside. Combine beans, olive oil, sesame seeds, lemon juice, and all the dry spices in a food processor. Add 1/2 of the liquid from your beans. Pulse process for about 1 minute until beans become smooth and ingredients are well blended. Next, add the Dijon mustard and pulse for another 10 seconds or so. With a spatula, scrape the sides of the bowl and pulse process another 30 seconds. If you need more moisture, add the remaining liquid from the beans. Leave mixture sitting in the bowl until garlic is ready.

Once garlic is well roasted, peel and partially mash cloves before adding them to the hummus. Now pulse the mixture with the garlic once last time for about 20 seconds and give it a taste for flavor. It should be perfectly seasoned; however, if you like it a bit saltier, add a couple more pinches of salt and pluse for 5 seconds more. It's all to personal taste. If you like it a bit spicy, you can even add 1/2 teaspoon of red chili flakes, but it's probably not necessary.

Transfer to a nice clay bowl for a casual get together, or go crazy elegant with a crystal dish. Place the parsley in the center of the bowl and carefully place the pimento on top of the parsley so as to make a flower. Place the capers in a circular position around the parsley. And there you have it, ready for your most discriminating guests, sure to gobble this up like there's no tomorrow. Serve with your favorite dipping bread or crackers and enjoy.

Many thanks to Gabriel, who captured my attention with this recipe.


  1. Dijon mustard...I like that addition. Love making hummus and love this recipe!

  2. I am a hummus nut. When Costco puts on their "carnival of hummus" I always leave with at least two, if not four containers of odd flavored goodness.

    Your version sounds quite tasty with the smoked paprika and mustard. I love the title you gave sounds so important :-)

  3. what a great flavor experience - like the spicy heat of the paprika

  4. Enjoyed your blog this morning. It's a rainy day in Michigan so I'm surfing blogs looking for some creative inspiration. Plenty to find here! Best wishes.

  5. Great recipe, I love these flavors:)