Yield, 2 3/4 cups


  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 cups canned chickpeas, drained, liquid reserved
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup tahini (sesame paste)
  • 6 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
  • 2 tablespoons water or liquid from the chickpeas


Turn on the food processor fitted with the steel blade and drop the garlic down the feed tube; process until it’s minced. Add the rest of the ingredients to the food processor and process until the hummus is coarsely pureed. Taste, for seasoning, and serve chilled or at room temperature.

Copyright 1999, The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, All Rights Reserved

Why Chickpeas?

High in protein

Protein builds and maintains bones, muscles and skin. It also causes one to feel full, leading to better weight management.

High in fiber

Fiber, like protein, increases satiety and reduces appetite, making one feel fuller for longer and thereby lowering your overall calorie intake. It also promotes regularity for a healthy digestive tract.

High in Iron

Iron plays a crucial role in maintaining bone and joint strength and elasticity. It also helps red blood cells and move oxygen throughout the body.

High in Manganese

Manganese is important for energy production and antioxidant defenses. Just one cup of garbanzo beans supplies 84.5% of the daily value for this mineral.

A great meat substitute for vegetarians


Inexpensive and easy to cook

Cultural Context

Hummus is made from chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans) that have been cooked and mashed, then blended with tahini (a paste made from sesame seeds), and typically olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and salt.

Chickpeas have been cultivated throughout the ancient Mediterranean region and Middle East for thousands of years. Hummus means chickpea in Arabic. The earliest known recipes for a dish similar to hummus are recorded in cookbooks published in Egypt and Syria in the 13th century. These recipes include chickpeas, vinegar, lemons, herbs, spices and oil, but not tahini. The first written record of the spread with pureed chickpeas and tahini is “hummus bi tahini” (Arabic), and comes from 18th century Syria.

Today, hummus is central to many Middle Eastern cuisines such as Egypt, Israel, Lebanon, Syria and Turkey where it is eaten as a dip, scooped with flatbread, such as pita. It is also served as part of a meze (appetizer selections) or as an accompaniment to falafel (a fried chickpea patty), grilled chicken, fish or eggplant.

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