Tips before getting started:

Rub the skins of the walnuts off a bit after you toast them, they can be a bit bitter and tannic.

Make the crushed red pepper oil a day or two ahead if possible.

½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes

¾ cup walnuts, toasted

2 cups cooked (or canned) garbanzo beans, drained

1 medium clove garlic

Juice of ½ a lemon (about 2 Tbsp)

½ cup hot water

¼ cu oil-cured olives, chopped

A bit of chopped cilantro

Make the hot pepper oil a day or so ahead of time by heating the olive oil in a small saucepan for a couple minutes – until it is about at hot as you would need it to sauté some onions, but not so hot that it smokes or smells acrid or burned. Turn off the heat and stir in the crushed red pepper flakes. Set aside and let cool, ideally for a day or two – to let the flavor really develop.

To make the hummus, give the walnuts a spin in the food processor, just until they are a sandy texture. Add most of the garbanzos, 1 or 2 Tbsp of the red chile oil (oil only, not flakes), garlic, and lemon juice. Now process until smooth. Drizzle in the water a bit at a time and puree more, until the hummus is creamy and billowy. Let the food processor run for a minute or so at this point to incorporate air into the puree and make it a nice texture. Taste, adjust the seasoning – more salt, more lemon juice, etc.

Serve in a shallow bowl, drizzled with plenty of the remaining oil and red pepper flakes. Add any remaining garbanzo beans as well as some olives and a bit of chopped cilantro for the final touch.

Makes about 2 ½ cups.

(Recipe retrieved from

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