Only in some terribly wicked and inhumane world where I’d have to pick between creamy hummus and salty olive tapenade, hummus would never triumph. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got nothing against hummus! It makes for a great snack when spread generously on some hot, homemade pita, and it’s great for dipping an arrangement of rainbow-colored vegetables into. Olive tapenade, however, is perfectly salty and oily and it is a great addition to any kind of sandwich, or bruschetta (aged cheese and olive tapenade; tomato, feta and olive tapenade; dry-cured raw ham and olive tapenade…), but it’s perfectly fine simply scooped onto a basic saltine cracker (don’t judge me). I’ve always had a weakness for olives.
Luckily, the world is not this cruel when it comes to these types of ‘issues’, and oftentimes when asked to choose between two types of food my answer is undecidedly “why not both?”. Indeed, why not both? And I don’t mean ‘why not both’ in the sense of making one entire batch of hummus AND one entire batch of olive tapenade – I am very hungry, but I am also very lazy. What I mean is: why not merge both in order to create a perfectly perfect dip that has both the fluffy, creamy texture and ‘dippability’ of hummus, and the briny, salty flavor and slight chewiness of black olive tapenade. There is no reason why not, except that this dip is highly addictive (that’s why the recipe below is for a large batch – don’t worry, I got you).
About the olives: in my opinion, there are few (common and easily available) black olives that can match the intense, almost fruity flavor of a good meaty Kalamata olive, which is why I prefer to use those here. Now, can you use any type of black olive for this recipe? Sure. But do make sure you use good quality black olives with a meaty texture and a rich flavor– you don’t want them to get lost in the chickpeas! Those tiny little round olives you might put on pizza definitely won’t do for this recipe.
Kalamata Olive Hummus
- 250g dried chickpeas, (or about 450g drained, canned chickpeas)
- 80ml tahini
- 2 garlic cloves
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- 100ml extra-virgin olive oil
- 50ml lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
- 20 Kalamata olives, de-pitted
- Salt to taste
MethodSoak the dried chickpeas overnight in cold water (preparation time listed does not include soaking overnight).
- Prepare the chickpeas: Drain the pre-soaked chickpeas and place them in a pan and cover with fresh water. Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook until very tender. Dried pre-soaked chickpeas will take about 30 – 40 minutes. When the chickpeas are well-cooked and tender, rinse under cold water. If you are using canned chickpeas, they don’t need to be boiled, just rinsed.
- Peel the chickpeas: For a smoother hummus, peel the chickpeas by rubbing them between your hands, or gently squeezing them between your fingers. Discard the skins.
- Make hummus: Place all ingredients except for the olives in a food processor and process until smooth. Add more liquid (either olive oil, lemon juice or just some tablespoons of cold water) if and when necessary. Finally, add the de-pitted black olives and process until small pieces of olive are well distributed throughout the hummus.
- To serve: scoop hummus onto a plate and drizzle on a little olive oil. Decorate with olives, ground paprika, or some reserved chickpeas.