Cooking from the Glossies: White Bean and Roasted Garlic Hummus

Lately I've grown a little tired of store-bought hummus. Many of the flavors are bordering on bizarre (dill? French onion?), and often I find the taste of tahini overwhelming. And commercial hummus is always pureed until it is super-smooth. I prefer mine a bit chunky—I like being able to bite into little bits of chickpea. What to do? Make my own, of course. This week I whipped up a batch of the White Bean and Roasted Garlic Hummus from the November issue of Cooking Light magazine.

Over the years I've prepared many versions of homemade hummus, to varying degrees of success. Some recipes come out so bland, I end up pouring salt into them because they just need something. Others wind up far too garlicky and the bite is so strong, I can't taste anything else. I once made a roasted red pepper hummus that turned out like soup, and a yogurt-based hummus that tasted like...yogurt.

This recipe is quite good. Excellent, in fact. Roasting the garlic (instead of just mincing it and tossing it in) really mellows and deepens the flavors, and the tahini-to-chickpea ratio is perfect. The addition of white beans gives what is traditionally a Middle Eastern dip a Mediterranean twist, and also adds to that all-important chunk factor. My hummus turned out thick and pulpy, just the way I like it.

The only amendment I would make to the original recipe would be to increase the amount of rosemary. The recipe yields 5 cups of hummus, yet only calls for 3/4 teaspoon of the freshly chopped herb. Once everything was all mixed together the flavor and fragrance were a bit lost. Still this is an excellent, and easy to prepare, version of what has become a snack-time and casual hors d' oeuvres staple.