The acclaimed Israel-born restauranteur shares her recipe and ideas for using hummus beyond dipping
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portrait of chef einat admony
Credit: Quentin Bacon

Einat Admony's knack for flavor emerged at age five in her family's Tel Aviv, Israel, kitchen. She played sous-chef to her mother as she prepared Shabbat dinner each week, and later became the resident cook while traveling through Europe with friends. So, when she settled down in Brooklyn in 1999, a food career was a no-brainer: "The kitchen is the place I feel most comfortable," she says. "Everywhere I go, I'm the one who needs to feed people." In 2005, she and her husband opened a fast-casual falafel restaurant, Taïm, which now has seven East Coast locations. Balaboosta, a chic sit-down spot in Manhattan's West Village, followed in 2010, as have two gorgeous cookbooks—most recently Shuk (S27.54, amazon.com).

mixing perfectly balanced hummus
Credit: Quentin Bacon

Perfectly Balanced Hummus

We can all agree that few dishes are as elemental and versatile as hummus—the creamy chickpea-and-tahini purée is a plush landing pad for herbs, vegetables, and even meat. Here, Admony shares her signature, light-as-air hummus recipe that's magic to make at home and three serving ideas that run circles around carrot sticks.

Admony recommends using smaller dried chickpeas when making hummus. And she calls for soaking them overnight (no rushing) with 1/2 teaspoon baking soda. This softens the dried chickpeas and helps them to plump up before they are cooked. After the chickpeas are cooked, she drains and puts them in a bowl set in an ice bath to let them cool completely before processing. Many of the chickpea skins will have come off during cooking, but Admony suggests picking off any remaining ones, as this makes for a more creamy hummus. She also says to select high-quality raw tahini for hummus.

Just Add Pitas

Swirl some hummus on a plate and consider serving it one of these inspired ways, courtesy of chef Admony. For a classic appetizer, top hummus with warm chickpeas, dollops of homemade tahini sauce (the recipe is with her Perfectly Balanced Hummus recipe) and harissa, plus a drizzle of olive oil, and sprinkles of paprika, salt, and pepper.

Want to transform hummus into a savory main dish? Cover your hummus with ground beef sautéed with chopped jalapeño and caramelized onion, and garnished with fresh parsley and pine nuts. And for a vegetable-heavy main, top hummus with roasted mushrooms and caramelized onion and serve with crudités.

Adapted From Shuk, by Einat Admony and Janna Gur (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2019

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