Yotam Ottolenghi’s hummus recipes (2024)

Hummus gets its name from the Arabic word for “chickpea”, and traditionally it contains just chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice and garlic; olive oil is used only to finish it off on the plate. Other versions, based mainly on olive oil and containing anything from beetroot to avocado, I’ve always rejected as phoney imposters, but after making today’s three wonderful chickpea spreads with not so much as a gram of tahini among them, I couldn’t help but call them anything other than, well, “hummus”.

Basic cooked chickpeas

This yields enough cooked chickpeas to make two of today’s other dishes. I like the idea of having two contrasting hummus dishes in one meal, but not everyone will share that sentiment. Luckily, cooked chickpeas freeze very well; just defrost them and bring back up to room temperature before using. I say to cook the chickpeas for 45 minutes, but it can take substantially longer, depending on variety and freshness, so cook them until they’re completely soft.

Soak Overnight
Prep 5 min
Cook 45 min
Makes 600g
250g dried chickpeas
1½ tsp bicarbonate of soda

Start the day ahead by soaking the chickpeas overnight in plenty of cold water and a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda. Drain and refresh, then put in a large pot with 1.8 litres of water and half a teaspoon more of bicarb. Bring to a boil on a medium-high heat, lower the heat to medium and cook for 30 minutes. Add a teaspoon of salt and cook for 15 minutes more, until the chickpeas are very soft when squashed between your fingers, but still hold their shape, then drain.

Hummus with cinnamon, lemon and ginger

Yotam Ottolenghi’s hummus recipes (1)

Grab some crusty bread or pitta to mop up the fried aromatic oil with this hummus.

Prep 5 min
Cook 15 min
Serves 4 as a meze

For the hummus
300g freshly cooked chickpeas (see previous recipe)
3cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
2 tbsp olive oil
1 small garlic clove
2 lemons – shave off five thin strips of peel, then juice, to get 3 tbsp
Flaked sea salt

For the fried aromatics
60ml olive oil
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely sliced
1 large garlic clove, peeled and thinly sliced
2cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and julienned
1 cinnamon stick, lightly crushed
5g coriander stalks, cut into 4cm lengths, plus 2 tbsp picked leaves

Put the first four ingredients for the hummus in the small bowl of a food processor with the lemon peel, two tablespoons of lemon juice, half a teaspoon of flaked salt and a tablespoon of water. Blitz for about two minutes, until you have a smooth paste (you may need to scrape down the sides of the bowl a couple of times).

For the fried aromatics, heat the oil in a medium pan on a medium heat, then gently fry the chilli, garlic, ginger and cinnamon for five minutes, stirring every once in a while, until the garlic is just starting to brown. Add the coriander stalks and fry for a minute or two more, until the garlic is a light golden brown and the chilli aromatic. Transfer the solids to a plate with a slotted spoon (reserve the oil) and sprinkle generously with flaked salt.

Spoon the hummus on to a large plate, creating a large well in the centre with the back of a spoon. Spoon the oil into the well and drizzle over the remaining tablespoon of lemon juice. Top with the fried aromatics and fresh coriander, and serve.

Hummus with grilled quail, pomegranate molasses and parsley salsa (pictured top)

There’s a bit of work involved here, but this is a glorious dish to delight any hummus lover. Separating the quail into breasts and legs is a little tricky, so ask your butcher to do it if you’re unsure (use the carcasses for stock or gravy). Another option is to use boneless chicken thighs, and adjust the cooking time according to their size. You’ll need four long metal skewers (or wooden skewers soaked in water for 10 minutes).

Prep 5 min
Marinate 2 hr
Cook 40 min
Serves 4

2 tbsp olive oil
1½ tsp ground allspice
1½ tbsp pomegranate molasses, plus ½ tbsp to serve
1½ tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp lemon zest
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1 tsp maple syrup
2 thyme sprigs
Flaked sea salt and black pepper
4 quail (1kg), breasts taken off the bone, legs and thighs cut off in one piece

For the parsley salsa
10g parsley leaves, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
2 tbsp olive oil
1 lemon – zest finely grated, to get ½ tbsp, then juiced, to get 1 tbsp

For the hummus
300g freshly cooked chickpeas (see introduction to first recipe)
½ garlic clove, peeled and crushed
1 lemon – zest finely grated, to get 2 tsp, and juiced, to get 1 tbsp
1 tbsp olive oil
100g Greek-style yoghurt
Flaked sea salt and black pepper

Mix the first eight ingredients in a large container with a teaspoon and a half of flaked salt and plenty of pepper.

Put the quail in the marinade, mix everything together, then leave to marinate for two hours at room temperature (or in the fridge overnight). Thread two breasts and two legs/thighs on to each skewer. Discard the thyme.

Mix all the salsa ingredients with a generous pinch of flaked salt and a good grind of pepper.

Put two thirds of the chickpeas in a food processor with the garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, oil, 80g yoghurt and a quarter-teaspoon of flaked salt, and blitz smooth. Transfer to a saucepan and set aside.

Heat a griddle pan on a high heat until very hot. Lay in the skewers skin side down and grill for five minutes on each side, until crisp and golden brown, then leave to rest for five minutes.

Put the pan of chickpeas on a medium-high heat with the remaining 100g whole chickpeas and gently heat for a few minutes, until warm. Transfer to a platter with a lip and stir in the remaining 20g yoghurt, so you have streaks of yoghurt through the chickpeas.

Arrange the quail skewers on top of the hummus. Spoon on the salsa, finish with a drizzle of pomegranate molasses and serve.

Slow-cooked garlic hummus with marinated mushrooms

Yotam Ottolenghi’s hummus recipes (2)

Grilling and marinating mushrooms really enhances their meatiness, making this a hearty vegetarian option. Experiment with different mushrooms, if you like.

Prep 10 min
Marinate 1-2 hr
Cook 20 min
Serves 4 as a meze

For the hummus
2 whole heads garlic, the top fifth cut off to expose the bulbs
1½ tbsp olive oil
Flaked sea salt and black pepper
300g freshly cooked chickpeas (see introduction to first recipe)
2 tbsp lemon juice

For the mushrooms
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
40ml olive oil
1 lemon – zest finely grated, to get 2 tsp, then and juiced, to get 2 tbsp
5g thyme sprigs
½ tsp maple syrup
140g chestnut mushrooms, quartered
120g shiitake mushrooms, roughly torn in half
1 dried cascabel chilli
1 tbsp dill, roughly chopped
½ tbsp parsley, finely chopped

Heat the oven to 200C/390F/gas 6. Drizzle the garlic heads with a teaspoon of oil and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Wrap tightly in foil and roast for 40 minutes, until the cloves are soft and golden brown. Discard the foil and, when cool enough to handle, squeeze out the cloves; discard the papery skin.

While the garlic is roasting, prepare the mushrooms. Put the garlic, oil, lemon zest and juice, thyme and maple syrup into a large bowl with a teaspoon of flaked salt and a generous grind of black pepper. Heat a large griddle pan on a high heat, then lay in the mushrooms, well spread out (depending on the size of your grill, you may need to cook them in batches), and grill, turning often, for about eight minutes, until the mushrooms have dark char-marks on all sides. Add the griddled mushrooms to the bowl with the oil mixture and stir to combine.

Grill the chilli in the same pan for four minutes, until fragrant, then roughly chop and add to the bowl. Leave to marinate for an hour or two.

For the hummus, put the chickpeas, cooked garlic, remaining tablespoon of oil and the lemon juice in the small bowl of a food processor with a tablespoon of water and an eighth of a teaspoon of salt, then blitz to a smooth paste – about two minutes (you may need to scrape down the sides a couple of times).

Spread the chickpeas in the base of a shallow bowl, and make a large well in the centre with the back of a spoon. Stir the dill and parsley into the mushrooms, then spoon into the well, with all the oil and aromatics.

Yotam Ottolenghi’s hummus recipes (2024)


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