I spent some quality time with chickpeas this week – 20 minutes, actually, as I diligently removed the skin from each and every bean. There were moments when I questioned the sanity of this endeavor, but in the end it proved to be most worthwhile.
What compelled me to go through this trouble? It was all about the hummus.
A while back I read Smitten Kitchen's hummus recipe in which she recommended peeling the chickpeas to create an "ethereally smooth" dip. One by one, you pinch each bean to slip off the skin. A single batch takes around 10 minutes to peel but since I was making a large amount, it took twice as long.
Once all the chickpeas were stripped, they blended quickly and easily into the silkiest hummus I'd ever made.
Would I do it again? On occasion. Besides the laborious nature of peeling chickpeas, there are times when I'd like a more rustic hummus, plus the skins provide extra fiber. I'm glad I tried it, though, and I appreciated the opportunity to quiet my brain and exercise mindful focus on the chickpeas. This, too, made the hummus taste that much better.