For the Love of Hummus

Delicious, delicious hummus.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the hummus

Uh, okay.

Inspired by her new-found geographical surroundings (Connecticut), Dafna decided it was time to try this delicious-looking hummus recipe from Michael Solomonov, whose Zahav restaurant in Philadelphia has received endless accolades and critics' admiration.

Since Zahav is apparently the sort of restaurant two NY Post writers recently suggested was worth leaving the city for, and where the hummus is supposedly a 'revelation,' one would imagine the house hummus recipe to be amazing. Incredible. Life-altering. Divine.

With words like these floating around, the anticipation was unbearable. The chickpeas were soaked in baking soda overnight, as directed. Then brought to a boil with the garlic cloves, then kept at a simmer, yadda yadda yadda. Fast forward to the tasting, because what else matters? Verdict:

This hummus was a disaster of epic proportions, not only because of the build-up, but because it was just terrible. Dafna has made some questionable dishes before, but this was bad enough to rival even the Great Gnocchi Debacle of 2010. Ask Rachel how bad that gnocchi was. (The words 'glue' and 'gum' should come up.)

Nothing helped. Not more lemon juice, not fresh garlic, not salt, nothing. The hummus coats the mouth like a combination of hot tooth paste and gum that has lost it's structural integrity thanks to that piece of chocolate you had in your mouth right before you started chewing. And in hindsight, as Dafna's mom pointed out, it was doomed from the start. Using boiled garlic cloves vs. fresh. Adding plain tehina instead of preparing it first with the proper seasonings. This stuff made her stomach hurt after just one spoonful. She's just glad Rachel didn't have to suffer through it.

Dafna doesn't blame Chef Solomonov. Maybe this hummus tastes good at the restaurant, and she's sure the other dishes are delicious as well. But she can't shoulder all the blame for this terrible, terrible injustice served to perfectly innocent, hopeful, peace-loving chickpeas. Retaliation is in the works, via Dafna's mom's Lebanese hummus recipe.


  1. What does soaking in baking soda overnight do?

  2. softens the chickpeas! apparently, most places do this. it makes the hummus much smoother. or perhaps toothpastier?