Hummus is one of those inexpensive foods that’s become a bit overdone. Every supermarket carries 20 different varieties and you’ll find a dish of hummus at every potluck (often brought by the person who can no longer get away with an offering of chips and salsa). It may be cheap and easy, but the Middle Eastern chickpea spread is also nutritious and versatile. I use it in sandwiches and wraps, and it’s fantastic with kofte or souvlaki. It makes a quick, nutritious lunch with some Wasa flatbreads or pita. Stick it on top of a chicken breast, fish, or burger for a quick flavour infusion.
Fresh garlic is key
The essence of this dish is garlic. Don’t even think about using garlic powder. It has to be fresh. Try to buy local garlic if you can – the flavour will be much more pungent than anything shipped from who-knows-where. Hummus is not rocket science, but lacklustre ingredients will make it resemble cardboard, not food.
My Feel-the-Burn Hummus uses an assortment of hot peppers to ramp up the heat. I pickled our crop of hot peppers this year, so I’m using Bulgarian Carrot peppers, Cayennes, and Criolle de Sella. You can really use any peppers you like, fresh or pickled. The key is to choose peppers that will give flavour, not just heat. This recipe is not for the faint of tastebud – be warned.