Whipped Chickpea Hummus Recipe

Actually two different takes on hummus. One with an Italian twist, and one a lovely shade of green from the incorporation of a bit of sauteed spinach.

Whipped Chickpea Hummus

Dipping your toe into the vast culinary pond can be intimidating. People start by testing the waters with easy, party-type fare like salsas, spreads, and simple-to-prepare dips like hummus. Along with being easy to make, hummus is also a great example of what I'll call a gateway recipe. Gateway recipes can lead to an intense desire to tackle other recipes - each more hard-core than the last. Start making hummus, and before you know it you're neck-deep in tagines and Paula Wolfert cookbooks.

The foundation for hummus is the pug-looking, nutty-tasting chickpea. Add tahini, lemon juice, olive oil, fresh garlic, salt, and a few hundred laps around the inside of a blender - you've got a batch of this middle-eastern classic. I love hummus. I love garbanzo beans -but I can't help but look for fresh twists on both.

My friend gave me a copy of Judith Barrett's Fagioli cookbook. For those of you who have witnessed my bean buying patterns in person, you know this addition to my library is long overdue. The book focuses on the bean cuisine of Italy and delves into Ital-centric preparations of fava, cannellini, borlotti, and chickpeas (ceci), among others. There are some great recipes, and techniques in this book - one recipe in particular caught my attention - Whipped Chickpea and Potato Spread for Crostini - a whipped chickpea 'hummus' of sorts.

Judith Barrett's Whipped Chickpea Hummus

Judith purees chickpeas with a cooked new potato, a bit of red onion, olive oil, and seasonings. Think of it as Italian-style hummus. Sounds good, right?

Spinach and Whipped Chickpea Hummus

I made her version and decided to build on it for my second batch. I added lemon zest, a spike of lemon juice, and a generous dose of one of my favorite power greens, Spinach. I also kissed the crostini with a bit of garlic. The green chives got a bit lost on top of the spinach chickpea whip. Next time I'll go back to garnishing with pretty slivers of red onions.

If you can make hummus, you can make these. Give them a shot at your next party.

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Whipped Chickpea Hummus Recipe

A remix of Judith Barrett's version - Fagioli, page 36. hs note:I like the taste and texture of beans cooked from scratch, but I don't see why you couldn't make this using canned chickpeas. Start with two 14-ounce cans, drained and rinsed. Cook the potato on its own. This should get you in the ballpark.

1 sweet baguette, cut into 1/4-inch thick slices
3 tablespoons olive oil
a couple pinches of salt
1 large garlic clove, peeled.

Chickpea spread:
1 cup dried chickpeas, rinsed and picked over
1 small new potato (Yukon Gold, Yellow Fin, etc), peeled and quartered
5-6 handfuls of spinach, washed well

1 small red onion, chopped
zest of one lemon
juice of 1/2 lemon, approx.
salt and pepper
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
warm water
chives for garnish (opt)

Prepare beans and potato:
Soak the garbanzos overnight. Drain soaking liquid, and refill with enough water to cover the beans by about an inch. Bring water to a boil, reduce heat, and allow to simmer until beans are tender. Add the potato to the pot (or cook it in another water-filled) until tender, another 10 minutes or so. Drain any extra water at this point and set beans/potato aside.

Make crostini:
Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl toss the baguette slices with the olive oil and salt. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet and place in the oven until golden, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven, let cool for a couple minutes and rub each crostini with the clove of garlic - don't go overbboard, raw garlic is strong!

Add a splash of olive oil to a hot skillet, and throw in the spinach. It should collapse within 10 or 20 seconds. Immediately remove from heat and salt to taste.

Combine the chickpeas, potato, spinach, 1/4 cup red onions, lemon zest and juice, and a few big pinches of salt in a food processor. With the machine running drizzle in the olive oil. Chances are your mixture is on the dry side at this point and you may need to add warm water a few tablespoons at a time until the spread is a rich, creamy consistency. Season carefully, if you under salt the flavor will be flat. If you need more acidity, and a bit more lemon juice.

Put a spoonful of the spread on each crostini. Finish with a drizzle of good-quality extra-virgin olive oil, and a sprinkling of the red onions.

Serves many.

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!
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I have always thought it was difficult to make hummus, but this recipe made me try it, and it was fun and gave a great tasting result! Thanks.


spinach . . . evil vegetable. why pollute a beautiful dish with such ugliness?

john jeffay

Another twist on hummus:
I once saw a recipe in the NY Times Sunday magazine for edamame “hummus”, where soy beans were substituted for chickpeas and rice vinegar was added. I failed to save it… Do you know what it is or have a similar recipe?


I just tried this recipe, and it is fantastic! All of my friends went crazy for it. Yum! I didn’t even make the crostini part–I provided cut-up veggies and warmed-up pita triangles. It was delicious. Next time I will try it with the crostini, but it is even good without. My food processor was too little for all of these ingredients, so I used my blender, and it worked really well. (All of the ingredients are really soft so it doesn’t get jammed.) This is really a crowd-pleaser–great to serve at a party!


Why not skip the wilting in the pan and toss the rinsed roughly chopped spinach leaves in with the hot beans and potatoes, cover, and let sit while the spinach wilts? Then the nutrients from the spinach would be absorbed by the starches, leaving them intact.


I’m a great fan of hummus – as much for its flavor as for its cheap cost and ease. As we begin to work our way into summer, I’ll be eating more of the stuff as a main course in and of itself.
I like the idea of the potato and spinach, and I’ll try it soon. I frequently throw in a handful of mint as I’m processing it, and freshly toasted cumin. The real challenge afterward is not eating a full bowl in a single sitting.

Eric Burkett

I am going to try it at our next meeting with my friends on the Israel’s Independence Day barbeque gathering.
I hope it will be a success! We all love humus!


My least favorite chore growing up used to be skinning the chickpeas! I’m excited to hear about an easier way, as now as an adult I generally find myself skipping the step out of laziness but the texture is never as good.
There is a lebanese restaurant in town (Vancouver BC) that makes the most delicious basil hummous. I’ve tried replicating but never quite succeeded in getting it as yummy. Still it is worth a shot. I generally add a generous handfull of fresh basil and a bit of extra lemon juice (more than normal) to bring out the basil flavour. I


Yoohoo – meaning I don’t edit out enough? or meaning I edit out too many?
I think I delete about 2 or 3 posts a week – the xxx stuff and poker ads. Don’t really remember many cases at all where I’ve edited for content.
In the comments section I generally leave everything in…unless it is a personal attack, spam, generally mean-spirited, or off-topic.
I generally try to treat people online the way I would if they were standing in front of me, and expect others to do the same when they are here.


I love to add a chile chipotle to the basic hummus recipie. Its nice to add the chipotle on the side but just as good to blend it in.

ivan garcia

These look really great, but I don’t know if I’m sold on the pool of EVOO on top *shrug*


I assume that Joel was being sarcastic!!!!
I think the photography here is great! The way Heidi edits out comments she doesn’t like from discussion threads may be substandard, but I think the photography sells the recipes even when it’s stuff you know you won’t eat! And isn’t Heidi a professional photographer anyway?


adding the potato to the hummus makes me think of Greek skordalia (lots of garlic!)…. there’s great skordalia at Mollyvos in NY.
You can also add olives or a tapenade to the hummus for another flavor….


feed processor 🙂


Hummus is such an easy treat and homemade is tons better than what you can get in the store. I blend drained and rinsed canned chick peas with a dash of tahini, lots of fresh lemon, roasted garlic, roasted red peppers and a little salt. Thanks for the additional ideas!


Am I crazy? I’m of middle eastern descent and believe that canned chickpeas are equal to dried minus the trouble to cook and peel. Have I been missing something?


Just wanted to say that as a chef there is not just one limited thing or selection to condense ones uses for any such food that what makes me so into cooking, the limits, well there are none!! You can constantly evolve your food to your pallete for each suttle occasion whether it be a night for roasted fentil over braised lamb shanks and a white wine demi glace, or sashimi seared tuna with bok choy and pad thai noodles, chang your food to fit your night! Dont look at a chic pea and see hummus, instead look at a chic pea and see a whole new world of taste bud explosions to make many more dinners increadible and so unique.. (If you mess up learn from it, believe me I have!) dIvErSe ChEf—-cHaD


I skin chickpeas! I’m eager to try Charise’s method, too, as it sounds more efficient than the squeee & slide you and I have been doing.
Your fellow peeler,


Charise – thank you for letting me know that my daughter isn’t the only one who prefers her chickpeas without the ‘peel’. I’ll try your method next time 🙂 I was just picking them up singly and giving a little squish and they pop out of the ‘peel’.


Spinach hummus is one I’ve never tried, although it sounds fabulous.
I must post a hummus recipe a week on my food blog, and just did a carrot harissa hummus last week. Yesterday’s was a green chile hummus.
Hummus is truly a great gateway recipe! Excellent post!


Hi Lorraine,
I’ve been making hummus for years and I “peel” my chickpeas all the time. It makes for a much smoother product.
After they cool, I cover them with cold water and rub the chickpeas between my hands. The skins float to the top of the water and I just scoop them off. It takes a bit of time, but the texture of the final product is worth it to me.


Let us not forget that chipotle in the hummus is like a mid east mexican fiesta, add cilantro and your getting a little wilder.


Finally!!! A hummus alternative for me. I’m allergic to hummus, and since Portland seems to be the hummus capital of the West coast (I counted 16 BRANDS at the store last week!) I can rarely eat at parties since everyone insists on hummus. Thanks a bunch!!! I’m gonna make it tomorrow.


It’s really cool to see such an international contingent weighing in on the comments today. Welcome!


Hi Bruno,
In general, right? Not in relation to any specific shot? For those of you who aren’t in the know when it comes to photo-terms, he means depth-of-field. Many of the shots on 101 cookbooks have a shallow depth of field where the item drops out of focus quickly.
The short answer is, I like the look of it in relation to the design of this site. Shallow DOF shots are soft, often pretty and not overly literal. The photos run quite small…so I think it helps to lead the viewers eye to the point of focus.
A lot of my non-food shots are not in the shallow DOF style. And food shots that I don’t use on this site tend to have more depth of field. Just depends on what I’m shooting and where the shot is going to be used. I think much of the time the food and environment lets you know how it wants to be shot.
You can see a broader range here: http://www.heidiswanson.com/
And non-food snapshots here.
Thanks for the question Bruno, -h


Here in Egypt we use whole chickpeas with Koshary, we also soak it in water overnight, get rid of the soaking water and cover the chickpeas in fresh water. boil it till tenderness then add shredded garlic, cumin, lemon juice & hot sauce for a hot (soup,drink) called (Halabessa) great in the cold winter evenings.

Safaa Shaaban

i have done a similar version with artichokes and white beans along with the chick peas. and since i am not a big tahini fan i usually only use a small dollop. the spinach one looks amazing. can’t wait to try it.
thanks for your great web site!


Hi there again Heidi,
Just wanted to ask you why did you stick with a narrow DOF instead of a larger one… Just personal preference or what???(I think I would have used one large enough just to have all the object in focus… =/ … wanted to understand how you ‘thought’ about the image while shotting)
I understand you can’t reply to everyone but I sincerly hope you’ll have the time to awnser my question…(also that you can uderstand what my ‘bad english’ wrote =) ..)

Bruno Vieira

I love the hummus on crostini idea. My personal twist on hummus is lime & jalapeno. And you are right. It’s the perfect gateway recipe!


I made hummus the other day and added a few red peppers- not sure what they’re called- like red, orange and yellow bell peppers but smaller and sweeter- and it gave my hummus a gorgeous pink-orange color and a delicious sweet flavor.


I know what you mean by the gateway recipe. I started with hummus and have advanced to a few other Arabic dishes. I should try this twist on hummus with my leftover tahini.


I know what you mean by the gateway recipe. I started with hummus and have advanced to a few other Arabic dishes. I should try this twist on hummus with my leftover tahini.


sultans table turkish cookbook written&photographed by kadir kir
looking to send example copy yo you
pls address
Kadir KIR

kadir kir

Good catch J Jacob – serves me right for trying to list off the ingredients from memory. Will update the post.
Shuna! I’ve had that magazine by my bed for over a week now without paging through it. Maybe the hummus vibes were seeping into my thoughts through osmosis as I slept.
I wrote about the fresh garbanzos a few years ago. I boiled them like edamame (seemed logical) Then someone in the comments recommended roasting them like chestnuts.


Being from the Middel East, and very familar with hummus, the absolutely necessary ingredient that was not mentioned is a spoonfull of FRESHLY crushed garlic.
Thank you.

J jacob

I too have a thing about hummus. It’s simply great tasting & I eat it, spread over rare beef steak or lamb shoulder among other things. I never thought of accessorising it with greens. I’ll give it a try this weekend.
Thanks for the idea.

khairil anuar

Wonderful treasure of very interesting and delightful recipes. Thanks for the same


I got such grief the other day from a purist who shall remain nameless, for calling my blend of chickpeas, subtle spices, garlic, olive oil and my own homemade preserved meyer lemons a ‘hummus’, that I had to rechrhristen it “chickpea dip”


You can make a very nice beautifully jade green hommous-like spread with baby limas, mint, onions, basil, cilantro and olive oil.


These ideas are perfectly timed for my daughter and I – we made falafel last night – and we were wondering what else we could make with chickpeas.
By the way, I love your description – “pug-looking” – that is exactly how they look!
My daughter has complained that in a salad or other recipe where the chickpeas aren’t mashed or pureed, that she hates the skin of the chickpea. I had never even noticed it before; now she has me skinning her chickpeas – can you imagine? I would love to know if anyone else does this.


You can roast the whole branch of chickpeas on the barbecue, you can also cook like a vegetable. In India they are called harbara

lalith mulherkar

Gateway recipe. I like that.
Might have you seen the article on hummus in Saveur? If you have not you will get a little chuckle from your own post…
A little tired of chickpeas by now, I am a fan of making something similar with dried peeled Favas– which, btw, can only be found at Berkeley Bowl.
Also– I hope you’ll report on Short Night’s Fresh chickpeas once they show up at the market! I’ve always wondered what people do with those…

shuna fish lydon

Hi Heidi,
love your site, always fresh and funky. I am also a chickpea fan, am currently living in the middle east and must say the food is superb, big hummus fan. I blend eggplant roasted with loads of garlic with chickpeas, tahini etc, it’s great served instead of mash, or you could just eat it out of the bowl!!!!


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