Wild Garlic Pesto Hummus

There are a billion recipes out there for hummus. I make it quite regularly – and buy it even more often. I do prefer home made – or small batch made by Lebanese, Turkish or Levantine producers & restaurants, mostly because it tastes better. Even better more so because when you make it yourself you know what’s going in it, and small makers tend to care a bit more about their ingredients. 

I first made this green hummus because I have a huge batch of homemade Wild Garlic Pesto in the fridge, and The Gardeners Mother was coming to visit. She doesn’t love lots of garlic, so I thought the ‘hint’ that the Wild Garlic Pesto would be more acceptable to her palate. And I wasn’t wrong. In fact it made a lovely rounded flavour that we all loved. 

Hummus means, literally, chickpeas in Arabic. And that is what this recipe is, chickpeas, with a flavouring of tahini, lemon juice and pesto. Whizzed into a creamy paste for spreading on everything or dipping flatbreads or cruditรฉs into. I often make hummus, plain and simple, and there are so many recipes out there for it, but- as I loved this version so much I thought I’d add this in. The addition of pesto is what makes this recipe special. 

There is no olive oil in traditional hummus. I learnt this trick after several gloopy heavy attempts by (duh) reading up on hummus in a recipe book by one of my favourite chefs, Yotam Ottolenghi. Instead, to lighten up the mixture you use a bit of the water you’ve cooked the chickpeas in. This- has been  revelation! 

And- there is one other thing I have to say… When you DIY hummus, it definitely pays to soak the chickpeas for 24 hrs then slowly simmer for another 2 hours or so. Yes, you can use tinned, but it’s just not the same. Tinned chickpeas are great in almost any other dish, but in something where their flavour is so necessary to the dish, the tin-flavour somehow overwhelms.

This means, that yes, you need to be a little organised- but sticking some chickpeas in a pan of water the day before you need them, is really not tricky.  And yes, you need to remember to then gently boil the chickpeas for a couple of hours. Again. Not tricky. Chickpeas, Water, Pan, Stove- long simmer. This is a great thing to do on a Saturday afternoon whilst you get on with washing, gardening or watching TV. It requires minimal supervision.  (disclaimer- once upon a time I would have thought this MADNESS- but once you do this once or twice, it’s not so tricky to fit into your routine)

I also like to make a HUGE batch of chickpeas and use the rest in other dishes throughout the week- or freeze some to use later. It’s a great time saver that way. Also- it’s far better to soak & boil too much, than not enough- which I did recently, and ended up having only a days supply of hummus for all that effort!

I love making and eating all kinds of variants on hummus, from the basic, to pimped with roasted beetroot, peppers or other veggies. But I will be clear, if there are no chickpeas involved- it isn’t hummus. ( but probably just as delicious- I would call it a dip.. or spread, rather than hummus- just to be pedantic) 

The measurements I give in this are a bit approximate. I tend to taste, and try as I go. And I wouldn’t dream of making this without a blender or food processer. 

What’s your favourite way of eating Hummus? 


Green Hummus- Wild Garlic Pesto Hummus
Author: Louise-Claire Cayzer
  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas (or 1 tin,rinsed really well)
  • 1 generous Tbs tahini
  • Juice half a lemon
  • 2 Tbs Wild Garlic Pesto (or other pesto would be nice too)
  • salt
  • 2 Tbs of the water the chickpeas were cooked in- or warm water to loosen the mix
  1. Blitz everything together in a food processer or blender
  2. Taste- and add more pesto/ water/ lemon/salt until it tastes delicious.
  3. Blitz again, you want this to be really creamy..I always find after 2-3 blitzes I add a bit more water to loosen and cream up the mix. Add a little more water if you need to help the mix loosen up.
  4. Taste once more & adjust the seasoning/lemon/pesto as needed
  5. Serve with a drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Crudites & Crackers, or as part of a Mezze spread.

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