My friend Gaby Dalkin just released a new cookbook, “Absolutely Avocados,” and I couldn’t be happier for her. Gaby writes a terrific blog called What’s Gaby Cooking. If you haven’t checked it out before, you must. She’s super creative in the kitchen. Gaby loves avocados; in fact, I’d go so far as to say they’re her culinary passion. Her new book includes everything you would ever want to know about this delicious green fruit (yes, it is a fruit!), along with a number of creative, innovative avocado recipes. Today is Cinco de Mayo – click here to learn about the history of the holiday. With guacamole making an appearance on tables across the United States, what better day to celebrate Gaby’s fabulous new cookbook? As I browsed her many tempting recipes, I stopped short on her Avocado Cilantro Hummus. Be still my heart. Avocado and hummus, two of my favorite things combined into one. I was ready to rock my kitchen, and my food processor, with a South-of-the-border-inspired hummus recipe.
I made a few small modifications to Gaby’s original recipe, which is also totally great in its original form… but you all know I’m a hummus freak, and I can’t help myself. I peeled the chickpeas before processing them, which produces a creamier hummus. This tip was shared with me several years ago by a friend in Israel, but over time I got lazy and stopped doing it because of the amount of time and effort involved. Smitten Kitchen recently reminded me what a difference it makes in the texture of the final product, so I’ve started peeling again. It does take a few minutes (about 10-15 for the amount of chickpeas in this recipe), so if that’s too fussy or time consuming for you, just skip it. The good news about peeling the chickpeas is that you’ll need less oil to get a smooth and creamy result. I was able to cut the olive oil in half and still get a creamy texture thanks to the peeling step. Also, instead of hot sauce or Tabasco (which I didn’t have in my fridge), I used sriracha. It worked great, so I’ve added it as an option below. Otherwise, the recipe appears as written.
I know, I know… some of you can’t stand cilantro. I can hear you kvetching already. Personally, I happen to love fresh cilantro and it really gives this hummus a Mexican essence. That said, if you feel like cilantro tastes “soapy” or unappealing (some people have this quirky genetic predisposition), just leave it out. The hummus will still be rich, creamy and divine. It’s a great alternative to guacamole and a unique twist on Middle Eastern-style hummus. Paired with baked pita chips, tortilla chips or fresh vegetable crudités, this is a unique and yummy appetizer your guests will swoon for.
You can buy Gaby’s cookbook “Absolutely Avocados” in The Shiksa Market. It contains all of the avocado recipes you could ever need, from Charred Corn Guacamole to Avocado Caesar Dressing to Avocado Chocolate Chip Cookies (yes, really!). A note to my kosher readers- it’s not a kosher cookbook, but most of the recipes are kosher or easily adaptable. I’m finding “Absolutely Avocados” is full of inspiration, a perfect gift for the avocado lover on your list.
- 1 3/4 cups soaked and cooked chickpeas or 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1 ripe Haas avocado
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (or more if needed, up to 1/2 cup)
- 1/3 cup fresh chopped cilantro
- 1 jalapeño chili pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 4 tsp tahini paste
- 1 tsp Tabasco, Tapatio hot sauce or sriracha
- 3/4 tsp salt, or more to taste
- Pita chips or assorted crudités for serving
- Start with cooked or canned and drained chickpeas. I like to peel the chickpeas to give the hummus a creamier texture. This will take you 10-15 minutes. If you're in a hurry you can skip this step, but you'll need a little more olive oil to achieve a creamy texture.
- Peeling the chickpeas is a simple process-- just grasp a chickpea between your thumb and forefinger and squeeze gently into your other hand till the skin loosens and releases. Repeat for the remaining chickpeas.
- Place the chickpeas (peeled or unpeeled) into the food processor. Add 1/4 cup olive oil if you have peeled your chickpeas, or 1/2 cup olive oil for unpeeled chickpeas.
- Pit and peel the avocado and add it to the processor along with cilantro, jalapeño, lemon juice, tahini, hot sauce and salt.
- Pulse the ingredients a few times, then process for 2-3 minutes. Scrape the sides of the processor once or twice to make sure all ingredients are fully incorporated. Continue processing till the hummus is smooth and creamy. Adjust salt and seasoning as desired and process a final time.
- Serve immediately with pita chips or assorted crudités. You can refrigerate this hummus for up to 3 days, but keep in mind that the color will not look as bright green and fresh after the first few hours. If storing in the fridge, cover tightly with plastic wrap, leaving no gap between the wrap and the surface of the hummus. This will help to keep it from discoloring.