Chef's Notes: This authentic hummus is the best you'll ever taste. The key is to simmer the chickpeas an extra long time, and to mellow out the garlic with lemon juice. (Note: Please use amounts as noted in the written recipe; the video shows chef Solomonov making a half portion.) From "Zahav: A World of Israeli Cooking," by Michael Solomonov and Steven Cook, published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.
Basic Tahini Sauce: Break up the head of garlic with your hands, letting the unpeeled cloves fall into a blender. Add the lemon juice and ½ teaspoon salt. Blend on high for a few seconds until you have a coarse purée. Let the mixture stand for 10 minutes so the garlic can mellow.
Pour the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer set over a large mixing bowl, pressing on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard the solids. Add the tahini to the bowl, along with the cumin and 1 teaspoon salt. Whisk the mixture until smooth; the sauce will lighten in color. Whenever the tahini seizes up or tightens, add ice water bit by bit (about 1.5 cups in total), whisking energetically until you have a perfectly smooth, creamy, thick sauce.
Hummus: After your chickpeas have soaked overnight (at room temperature with 1 teaspoon of baking soda and plenty of water), they should be doubled in volume. Drain and rinse under cold water. Place the chickpeas in a large pot with the remaining teaspoon of baking soda; add cold water to cover by at least 4 inches. Bring the chickpeas to a boil over high heat, skimming off any scum that rises to the surface. Lower the heat to medium, cover the pot, and continue to simmer until the chickpeas are completely tender, about 1 hour. Then simmer them a little more. (The secret to creamy hummus is overcooked chickpeas; don’t worry if they are mushy and falling apart a little.) Drain into sieve, and press gently to remove excess water.
Combine the chickpeas, basic tahini sauce, salt, and cumin in a food processor. Purée the hummus for several minutes, until it is smooth, thick, and über-creamy. Then scrape the sides down and purée it some more! Make sure the food processor isn't getting warm; if it does, let it cool before continuing to purée. (Note: Please use the amounts as noted in the written recipe; the video shows chef Solomonov making a half portion.)
To serve, spread the hummus in a shallow bowl, top with parsley, dust with paprika, and add a generous pour of olive oil. (Note: If you've made the hummus ahead of time and refrigerated it, let it come to room temperature and beat well before serving to restore its smooth, creamy texture.)
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