Perfect Sesame-free Hummus

 

sesame-free hummus

Hummus is everywhere, over the past twenty years or so it’s become a mainstream classic, one everyone eats and can be found in any store. All commercially found hummus contains sesame in the form of tahini and so is out of bounds for Little S. In fact hummus gave me the Heebie jeebies when Little S was smaller as we’d often come across other hummus eating children at parties and picnics and they’d invariably get the hummus everywhere, all over their hands and everything they touched. Not a fun situation when you’re worried about allergens. There were many uncomfortable moments trying to keep the hummus away from Little S!

I’ve tried just so many times to make a good hummus without using tahini but somehow the results are often just a bit bleurgh – it loses a lot of the moreish umami when the tahini is removed, as well as some of the silky smoothness. Whilst browsing the ‘vegan meringues hits and misses’ Facebook page, I came across the apparently traditional idea of using some of the chickpea water from the tin or cooking (the aquafaba) to give a creamy texture. Boy does it work well! The texture is spot on. By making sure the hummus is well seasoned you can make a pretty delicious sesame-free dip.

Perfect Sesame-free Hummus

(dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan)

perfect hummus, no sesame

makes 1 small bowlful

1/2 tin chickpeas

1 tbsp lemon juice

1/4 clove garlic, crushed

Salt to taste (probably a bit more than you think!)

2 tbsp aquafaba

1 tbsp plus 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

1/2 tsp ground cumin

To drizzle: extra virgin olive oil and paprika

  1. Whizz together all the ingredients in a food processor until you have a smooth, creamy mixture. taste and adjust the salt, lemon and cumin to taste.
  2. Serve drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and paprika

hummus, no tahini

Basil Hummus (tahini/sesame-free)

I’ve mentioned before the difficulty in avoiding sesame, making all store-bought hummus out of bounds. I’ve tried all sorts of hummus recipes that don’t contain tahini, but somehow they come across as insipid and lacking in the depth you want. This one uses tons of basil to impart a rich, deep flavour, meaning you don’t miss the tahini. And the vibrant green is quite appealing to dip into. Just take your time to balance those ingredients right, taste and season for all you’re worth. I find it always needs extra lemon right at the end myself.

Basil Hummus (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, sesame-free, soya-free, gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan)

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makes 1 bowlful

  • 1 tin chickpeas
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsps lemon juice
  • 3 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsps water, or juice from the chickpea tin
  • 2 large handfuls of basil
  • 1/2-1 tsp salt, depending on taste
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar (optional)

– Whizz together all the ingredients in a food processor.

– Taste and adjust seasoning

– Serve drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with paprika

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Cannellini Bean and Rosemary Hummus

Hummus… lovely stuff but only one of the girls can have it, and I’ve never managed to make a great tahini free version. Once the tahini is left out, the whole essence of a good hummus seems to be missing. This cannellini bean version is a pretty good replacement with no sesame in sight – the beans gives a creaminess that is lifted out of blandness by the punchy rosemary, garlic and sharp lemon. In fact, it was hard to stop dipping into it. Perfect served with homemade pittas or breadsticks.

Cannellini Bean and Rosemary Hummus (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, sesame-free, soya-free, gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan)

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makes 1 small bowlful

  • 1 tin of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1 tsp finely chopped rosemary
  • 1/2 clove garlic, crushed
  • 3 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt

– Whizz up all the ingredients in a food processor, adding a little more oil or water if it’s too thick.

– Taste and add more lemon, garlic, salt or rosemary to taste.

– Serve drizzled with olive oil.

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Fresh Pea Hummus

This idea is inspired by a sandwich I had in Pret a Manger the other day (I do have a fondness for their sandwiches) which featured pea hummus and feta and was really fresh, summery and different. Anyway, it got me thinking about making a pea hummus to eat with crudites and pitta strips – as I’ve mentioned before Little S is allergic to sesame so commercial hummus is out of the question and I’ve never made a good tahini-free version – hopefully they’ll like this as much as me and enjoy it for a summery post-swimming supper!

Pea Hummus (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, peanut-free, sesame-free, soya-free, gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan)

makes a bowlful

  • 250g frozen peas
  • 3 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsps lemon juice
  • 1/4-1/2 clove of garlic, minced (or more if you like garlic a lot!)
  • good pinch of salt and grind of pepper
  • Optional: sprig of mint, finely chopped or 1/2 red chilli, finely chopped

– Defrost the peas by running under a warm tap.

– Place in a food processor with the garlic and puree, adding the oil and lemon as the machine is running.

– Season and then pulse again until as smooth as possible

– Check the seasoning ( you do need a fair amount of salt and lemon to counteract the sweetness of the peas)

– Serve, drizzled with extra olive oil

– Optional: add a sprig of fresh mint, finely chopped while the machine is running. Or possibly a little fresh red chilli.