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Coarse-Ground Hummus with Thyme and Sesame

(recipe, Matthew Card)

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The chickpea cooking liquid adds valuable flavor and a smooth texture here, so I strongly encourage making the dip with home-cooked beans. Serve this hummus as part of a mezze spread or spooned into pita bread with greens and sliced cucumbers for an easy sandwich.


  1. ¼ cup sesame seeds (unhulled brown are fine)
  2. 3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  3. 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  4. 2 tsp. fresh thyme, destemmed and minced
  5. ¼ cup cooking liquid from chickpeas
  6. 2 cups cooked chickpeas (see Note)
  7. 2 to 3 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  8. 1 tsp. Aleppo pepper, or cayenne pepper to taste (see Note)
  9. Pinch of sugar
  10. 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  11. Salt and pepper


  1. Mix together the sesame seeds, garlic, and oil in a small skillet, and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the garlic is just beginning to color, 3 to 5 minutes.
  2. Transfer the sesame-seed mixture to a food processor; add thyme and chickpea cooking liquid. Process until homogenized and thick, about 1½ minutes, scraping down the sides of the processor bowl as necessary to evenly blend.
  3. Add the chickpeas, lemon juice, Aleppo pepper (or cayenne), and sugar, and process until blended and semi-smooth, about 1½ minutes, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary. Add olive oil and pulse 2 to 3 times to combine. Adjust seasoning to taste with salt and pepper and serve.


Aleppo pepper is a slightly smoky, fruity-tasting, coarse-ground dried pepper found at many Middle Eastern stores and spice purveyors like Penzeys that pairs exceptionally well with beans, hearty greens, and chicken. Culinate editor's note: No time to cook your own chickpeas? Use a 15-ounce can of garbanzos instead. Drain and rinse the beans before adding them to the food processor. Use 1/4 cup water in place of the bean-cooking liquid. Read more about garbanzos in Matthew Card's feature on chickpeas.