Hummus Recipe from The Root Chef Nick Rodgers

He offers a take on a deceptively simple dish that hits all the notes: tradition, cultural, local, healthy, and delicious


Published:

“As a Michigander/metro Detroit resident, there has always been a large Middle Eastern influence on the food around me,” says Nick Rodgers, executive chef at The Root Restaurant and Bar in White Lake. “Modern American cooking is a perfect example of our rich cultural differences being brought together, examined, and celebrated at the table.” He says hummus appears to be a simple blend of chickpeas, but it’s more about the tahini sauce and a perfect blend of garlic and lemon. Mushrooms lend earthiness to a dish, he says is “accidentally vegan, and without bread, it’s gluten free. It hits all the notes. Tradition, cultural, local mushrooms, simple yet technical, healthy yet not in your face, and most of all delicious.” 


Ingredients
14 cups water, plus 1 ½ cups ice water
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup dried chickpeas
¾ teaspoon ground cumin
5 garlic cloves, plus 2 cloves, shaved
¾ cup lemon juice, plus extra for seasoning
2 cups tahini paste
2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus extra for seasoning
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 cups seasonal wild mushrooms such as black trumpets
1 tablespoon dill, chopped
Smoked paprika, for garnish

Fennel fronds, for garnish
Olive oil, for garnish
Fried pine nuts, for garnish

Directions
Combine six cups of water, 1 teaspoon baking soda, and chickpeas in a large bowl. Soak overnight. Drain and rinse chickpeas under cold water. In a large pot on high heat, combine chickpeas, ¼ teaspoon of cumin, 1 teaspoon of baking soda, and eight cups of water. Let simmer until very soft, about 35 minutes.  Meanwhile, make the tahini sauce. Combine five garlic cloves and lemon juice and blend to a course puree, about 2 minutes. Let sit 15 minutes. Add two cups of tahini paste in a large bowl. Slowly add garlic and lemon juice puree, ½ teaspoon of cumin, and salt in a fine mesh strainer over the bowl. Using a spoon, push the mixture through the strainer. Slowly add the ice water a few tablespoons at a time, mixing continuously until the sauce is light in color, smooth, and silky. (This will make 3 ½ cups of tahini sauce, set aside 2 cups for future use.) Drain the chickpeas and put in a food processor. Blend for 30 seconds then slowly add 1 ½ cups tahini sauce. Add salt and lemon juice to taste. Cover and refrigerate until cool. To make the pitryot (mushrooms), place a small sauté pan on high heat and add canola oil. Add mushrooms, remaining shaved garlic, and season with salt. Sauté until the caps start to crisp and garlic turns brown, about 1 minute. Remove from heat. Add chopped dill and toss. Place sautéed mushrooms on top of hummus. Garnish with paprika, fennel fronds, olive oil, and pine nuts. Serve with laffa or pita bread.

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