Dense hummus makes me sad. It lures me in with promises of ethereal loveliness and then doesn't deliver. Some people, perhaps many people, don't mind. They may actually enjoy such solid hummus. I crave something lighter, tangier and altogether different.
This hummus is light and delicate, but has the added kick of preserved lemon that comes along and socks you one a mere instant after you taste it. The addition of lemon juice gives it another layer of flavor. Light, yes. Fragile, no. The difference, I think, is in the tahini, or to be more accurate, the lack thereof. Toasted sesame oil provides that same deep nutty flavor without the high specific gravity. With everything else weighing you down, why should your hummus?
Preserved Lemon Hummus
1 15 oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained (this is about 1 1/2 cups of beans)
6 to 8 slices of pickled lemon rind, sliced (that's 3/4 to 1 lemon's worth, scrape the pulp off)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
Put all of these things into a food processor (and any extras below) and let it run for a good 4 or 5 minutes, stopping to scrape down the bowl as necessary. By the end of this time the hummus should be very smooth and slightly lighter in color than the original chick peas were. Swirl artistically on a plate and drizzle with olive oil for a nice presentation. Use on crackers or as a sandwich spread instead of mayo, or as a dip for veggies.
Note #1 - the preserved lemon is plenty salty already and you do not need to add any more salt. You may want to add some pepper if you like.
Note # 2 - The size of your preserved lemons will determine how much you add. One large preserved lemon makes this hummus Very Lemony. If you think you may not be comfortable with this level of lemon, use less to begin with. You can always taste and add more.
Note # 3 - you can reserve half the hummus and add extras to just part instead of the whole batch.
Make it pioneer: add 1 to 2 tablespoons of chopped roasted garlic.
Make it Jersey: add 8 to 10 sundried tomato halves plus a smidge more water if it is too thick for you. I use the kind in olive oil. See below right.
Make it rock & roll: add 1/3 cup roasted red pepper (plus a smidge more water if it is too thick).