I know I’m not the first person to make peanut hummus. Hugh Acheson has a recipe in his book A New Turn in the South, which is one of my favorite cookbooks. But that wasn’t the inspiration for this recipe. Most recipes have you making traditional boiled peanuts first, which means using green peanuts and cooking them in their shells. But I wondered what would happen if you treated the peanuts exactly as you would dried garbanzo beans. They are legumes, after all. I originally called this Boiled Peanut Hummus, but I think that implies the southern style boiled peanuts. Garbanzo beans are boiled too, yet we don’t call it Boiled Garbanzo Hummus.
At last year’s StarChefs ICC, I took a workshop with chef Michael Solomonov. During that workshop, we made his recipes for hummus and tahini. I picked up great tricks like letting your chopped garlic sit in the lemon juice first to tame it’s bite, and using baking soda in the soaking and cooking stages to help soften the beans.
I wanted to take the peanuts and treat them exactly this way. I started with raw peanuts as opposed to green ones. I took them out of their shells, and soaked them overnight in water with baking soda. The next day, they were rinsed and I slipped off the skins. They were boiled with baking soda water.
I started a conversation on Twitter about what acid to use, since I didn’t feel that lemon juice was the best choice. I was initially thinking lime juice, but was steered towards using the brine from jarred, pickled jalapeños, which was a great choice. I also used it in the “tahini” which was made from peanut butter, instead of sesame.
I think it worked out really well. Try the hummus as is, but you might want an additional ounce of the tahini in it. I left it out because I usually serve hummus with more of the tahini on the side anyway.
What I found interesting was that the texture was almost identical to that of traditional hummus. There were some concerns from numerous people that it would become gummy, or too much like peanut butter. The difference in fat seemed to have no effect. Now that I know that, what else can we do with peanuts if we treat them like beans?
- 1 cup dry, raw peanuts
- ¼ teaspoon + 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ clove garlic, chopped
- 2 tablespoons pickled jalapeño juice
- 3 oz peanut butter/pickled jalapeño “tahini” (Recipe follows)
- kosher salt to taste
Remove hard shells from peanuts and discard. Soak peanuts overnight in 1 quart of water with ¼ tsp of baking soda. The next day, rinse the peanuts and remove the thin skins. They should slip off easily.
Cover the peanuts with water and add 1 tsp baking soda. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook for approximately an hour and a half, occasionally skimming the water. You want the peanuts to be soft, but not falling apart.
In a blender or food processor add the garlic and jalapeño juice. Blend on high. Let sit for 15 minutes before adding the other ingredients, as this should help to mellow the bite of the garlic.
Remove the peanuts from the stove. Drain and rinse with cool water. The peanuts don’t need to be completely cool. Add them and the “tahini” to the blender/processor and mix on low/medium to get the blades moving. Slowly increase the speed and blend for a minute until you reach your desired consistency. Add salt as needed.
Peanut Butter/Pickled Jalapeño Tahini:
- ½ cup smooth peanut butter
- ½ cup ice water
- ¼ cup pickled jalapeño juice
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- kosher salt to taste
As with the hummus, blend the garlic and jalapeño juice and allow to sit for 15 minutes before adding other ingredients. Add the remaining ingredients and blend on high until smooth. Add to the hummus, or use as you would a traditional tahini sauce.
Note: This recipe makes approximately 3 times the amount of tahini as needed for the hummus. If you try to make a smaller batch, you might not have enough to get the blades of your blender or food processor moving properly.
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