Photo, recipe and article contributed by Andrew Janjigian, Senior Editor, Cook’s Illustrated, published December 3, 2019

Recipe Corner: Ultra Creamy Hummus with Baharat-Spiced Beef Topping


“This hummus is velvety-smooth and creamy, with a satisfyingly rich, balanced flavor,” says senior editor Andrew Janjigian. “To achieve a perfectly smooth texture, we simmered canned chickpeas with water and baking soda for 20 minutes, and then quickly removed their grainy skins by gently swishing them under a few changes of water. Baharat is a warm, savory Middle Eastern spice blend. Our favorite tahini, Ziyad Tahini Sesame Paste, is made with gently roasted sesame seeds, which give it a light color and a mild flavor. If Ziyad is unavailable, please look for a similarly light tahini such as Roland Tahini Pure Sesame Paste or Kevala Organic Sesame Tahini. This hummus will thicken slightly over time; add warm water, 1 tablespoon at a time, as needed to restore its creamy consistency. Serve with crudités and pita bread or crackers.”


2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, rinsed

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

4 garlic cloves, peeled

1/3 cup lemon juice (2 lemons), plus extra for seasoning

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1 teaspoon table salt

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 cup tahini, stirred well

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling

Baharat-Spiced Beef Topping:


2 teaspoons water

1/2 teaspoon table salt

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

8 ounces 85-percent lean ground beef

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 cup finely chopped onion

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon hot smoked paprika

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/4 teaspoon ground coriander

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted, divided

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley

Serves 12 to 14.

Total Time: 45 minutes.


For hummus:

Combine chickpeas, baking soda, and 6 cups water in medium saucepan and bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until chickpea skins begin to float to surface and chickpeas are creamy and very soft, 20 to 25 minutes.

While chickpeas cook, mince garlic using garlic press or rasp-style grater. Measure out 1 tablespoon garlic and set aside; discard remaining garlic. Whisk lemon juice, salt, and reserved garlic together in small bowl and let sit for 10 minutes. Strain garlic-lemon mixture through fine-mesh strainer set over bowl, pressing on solids to extract as much liquid as possible; discard solids.

Drain chickpeas in colander and return to saucepan. Fill saucepan with cold water and gently swish chickpeas with your fingers to release skins. Pour off most of water into colander to collect skins, leaving chickpeas behind in saucepan. Repeat filling, swishing, and draining 3 or 4 times until most skins have been removed (this should yield about 3/4 cup skins); discard skins. Transfer chickpeas to colander to drain.

Process chickpeas, garlic-lemon mixture, 1/4 cup water, and cumin in food processor until smooth, about 1 minute, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add tahini and oil and process until hummus is smooth, creamy, and light, about 1 minute, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. (Hummus should have pourable consistency similar to yogurt. If too thick, loosen with water, adding 1 teaspoon at a time.) Season with salt and extra lemon juice to taste. (Hummus can be refrigerated for up to 5 days. Let sit, covered, at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.) Transfer to wide, shallow serving bowl. Using back of spoon, make a 1-inch-deep well in center of hummus, leaving 1-inch border.

For the topping:

Combine water, salt, and baking soda in large bowl. Add beef and toss to combine ingredients. Let sit for 5 minutes.

Heat oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add paprika, cumin, pepper, coriander, cloves, and cinnamon and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add beef and cook, breaking up meat with wooden spoon, until beef is no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Add 1/4 cup pine nuts and lemon juice and toss to combine. Spoon topping into well in hummus. Sprinkle with parsley and remaining pine nuts, and serve.

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