This silky smooth Roasted Garlic Hummus was inspired by Kitchen Creativity by Karen Page. Serve it with pita wedges or cut vegetables at parties for a fun appetizer, or spread it onto a sandwich or wrap for a delicious lunch.
I have a confession to make: I sometimes run out of ideas for new recipes. It can be tough to create new recipes for this blog week after week. Sometimes I find inspiration in foods from my childhood, and other times I try to recreate foods I’ve eaten in restaurants or cafes. I also like to veganize recipes from omnivore magazines. But sometimes there’s just nothing going on to inspire me.
Finding Inspiration in Kitchen Creativity
Karen Page’s new book Kitchen Creativity: Unlocking Culinary Genius—with Wisdom, Inspiration, and Ideas from the World’s Most Creative Chefs has come to my rescue. This isn’t a cookbook, but it is a book about cooking with intuition and imagination, as well as flavor and technique.
Kitchen Creativity is divided into two sections: “The Creative Process in the Kitchen” and “A World of Infinite Culinary Possibilities.”
“The Creative Process” section of the book has three parts, which echo the three stages of cooking. The first stage is “Mastery”, which includes learning foundational skills and a study of the past. (I learned that the candy apple was first created in my home state of New Jersey!) Flavor compatibility, tips on how to train your palate, and how to choose high-quality ingredients are all included in this section.
The second stage of “The Creative Process” is “Alchemy,” and this is where classic foods are transformed into something wonderful and new. Ice cream, meringue, and bruléed come together for a baked Alaska; and caramel/molasses, peanuts, and popcorn combine to make Cracker Jack. Flavor dynamics are also explored in this section, and the different tastes – salty, sour, sweet, bitter, and umami – are explained.
The final stage is “Creativity.” This is where it all comes together. Creating dishes without recipes and using your intuition to cook are covered here, as well as who, what, when, where, why, and how.
The second section of the book is “A World of Infinite Culinary Possibilities,” and it contains an a-to-z list of inspiration, from American and African-American Cuisines to Yellow Foods and Yoga. (Okay, it’s actual an a-to-y list!)
Kitchen Creativity took Karen Page four years to write, which is pretty evident by the book’s massive size. This is a gorgeous hardcover, and it’s packed with beautiful photos by Karen’s husband Andrew Dornenburg. Interviews with well-known chefs are sprinkled throughout. This book is loaded with information that anyone who loves to cook will find invaluable. It’s a great gift for foodies for the holidays!
As a vegan who loves her hummus, the excerpt on my favorite dip caught my eye.
“Hummus” from Kitchen Creativity
What is hummus? While the classic calls for chickpeas + garlic + lemon juice + olive oil + tahini, chefs are elevating it to new heights through sharing their time-honored secrets (e.g., “overcooking” the chickpeas with a hint of baking soda to achieve the smoothest possible texture, and using a judicious amount of one of the highest quality tahinis available, e.g., Soom brand) in addition to giving it their own spins.
Some chefs are flavoring classic hummus, taking the experience in new directions, e.g., garbanzo beans + parsley oil. Other chefs are substituting other legumes (e.g., black beans, green or red lentils, white beans) for garbanzo beans, and other flavorings for tahini, e.g., black beans + orange oil.
Excerpted from Kitchen Creativity: Unlocking Culinary Genius—with Wisdom, Inspiration, and Ideas from the World’s Most Creative Chefs by Karen Page (Little, Brown, October 31, 2017).
Making my own Roasted Garlic Hummus
While I love hummus, I rarely make my own, as I find it turns out a little stiff and pasty whenever I try. With the idea of overcooking chickpeas with baking soda, I hit the kitchen to see how it would turn out. I was surprised at just how silky smooth my experiment was! Trust me when I say that’s pretty amazing.
Rather than use raw garlic, I roasted it to mellow out the flavor, and taking a cue from Karen’s previous book The Vegetarian Flavor Bible, I’ve added fresh chives. Cooking dried chickpeas takes a little bit of time, but believe me, it’s worth it. This is how I’ll be making hummus from now on, and I’m looking forward to experimenting with different flavor combinations in the future.
Roasted Garlic Hummus with Chives
To Roast the Garlic
- 1 bulb of garlic
- ½ teaspoon olive oil
- pinch of sea salt
- pinch ground black pepper
To Make the Hummus
- 1 cup dried chickpeas, soaked for 6 to 8 hours, drained and rinsed
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/3 cup tahini
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons cold water
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 2 tablespoons chopped chives, plus more for garnish, optional.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, for serving, optional
- 1 teaspoon sumac or paprika, for serving, optional
To Roast the Garlic
Preheat your oven to 400°.
Peel most of the paper off of the garlic, but make sure you keep the bulb intact. Use a sharp knife to cut the top part of the garlic bulb off. You’ll want to trim about ¼” off.
Drizzle the tops of exposed cloves with the olive oil, and sprinkle with the salt and the black pepper. Cover the bulb with foil and bake for about 40 minutes, until the cloves are soft. The garlic is done with deeply golden brown and completely soft.
Allow the bulb to cool about 10-15 minutes.
To Make the Hummus
Place the chickpeas and the baking soda in a large pot and add enough water to cover the chickpeas by 2 inches. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then partial cover the pot and reduce the heat to a simmer. Allow to cook for about 60 minutes, or until the chickpeas have begun to fall apart. Skim the skins from the top of the water then drain the chickpeas. (If you can't get all of the skins out the water, it's okay.)
Place the chickpeas in a food processor, and process until it becomes a paste. Squeeze the roasted garlic out of the papery skin into the food processor, and then add the tahini, lemon juice, water, and salt. Process until smooth and creamy. Stir in the chopped chives.
Transfer the hummus to a bowl and top with the olive oil, sumac or paprika, and extra chives, if using.
Refrigerate until ready to eat. Serve with pita wedges or cut vegetables.
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I have a copy of Kitchen Creativity for one lucky winner. Follow the instructions below to enter. U.S. residents only, please. Contest ends at midnight on December 12th. Good luck!