Cilantro Hummus is a fresh vibrant take on one of the healthiest and most versatile vegan appetizers out there. Vibrant cilantro brightens up a traditional Middle Eastern chickpea dip and gives it a fresh flavor profile.
Cilantrophobes, you may want to make your exit right about now. I’m not poking fun at you, I know you can’t help the genes mother nature gave you, but this recipe is for the rest of us who appreciate the unique, crisp flavor of one of the coolest herbs out there. If you ask me, cilantro is right up there with basil for bright vivid flavor, and it’s just one of the ways that I keep hummus interesting.
Statistically, I’m pretty sure hummus is the thing I make most often. I make it on a weekly basis because I love it, and because my husband Grant has an obsession with it, he would eat it every night if he could. I keep cans of chickpeas in the cupboard, and a jar of tahini in the fridge…that way I can make it on a moment’s notice, and change it up with whatever I happen to have around. One of my favorite things to do is make it green. I chose this recipe to share because cilantro really is a striking flavor and gives a great lift to the creaminess of plain hummus.
Everyone knows that homemade hummus is far and away better than store bought, but that’s even more true for the flavored varieties. You simply can’t get real fresh herb flavor, for instance, in pre-packaged form. But you will get a surprising payoff by throwing in a big handful of fresh cilantro into a batch of plain hummus while it’s processing. The cilantro turns the hummus a pretty, fresh shade of green, and I usually enhance the flavor with a little extra garlic and lemon.
The only beef I have with cilantro is how hard it is to keep it fresh. It’s so delicate it wilts if you look at it funny. And while I grow several herbs in my yard, I’ve never been successful with cilantro — if any of you have luck with it, I’d love to know your secrets!
- 1 15-oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 large or 2 small cloves garlic
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1/4 cup tahini (sesame paste)
- 1 cup, firmly packed, cilantro leaves (take the extra time to remove the leaves from the stems)
- salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
- olive oil for drizzling
- paprika or sumac for garnish
- Put the chickpeas and the clove of garlic into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Turn the machine on and let the chickpeas go for about 5 minutes, stopping the machine and scraping down the sides often. Do not add any liquid at this point, even though the mixture is dry. This step helps insure a very creamy hummus. Just keep scraping down the sides.
- Add the tahini and lemon juice and process for another minute or so, still scraping down the sides of the machine as necessary.
- Now process in the cilantro, letting it go until it is well incorporated.
- Add enough cold water to loosen the hummus to a dippable consistency, approximately 1/4 cup, but you may need more. The hummus will thicken further as it chills in the fridge, so don't be afraid to add that water to loosen it up.
- Taste to adjust the salt and lemon, and then cover well and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Serve with a drizzle of good olive oil, and a sprinkle of sumac or paprika.
Some of my other cilantro recipes ~