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Cashew "Hummus" with Harissa

A surprising new take on hummus from Gregory Gourdet's Everyone's Table.
Servings 8


For the "Hummus":

  • 2 cups raw cashews
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice (from 5 to 6 juicy lemons)
  • 8 medium garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds, ground to a powder
  • 2 cups well-stirred tahini

For Serving:

  • 6 tablespoons harissa, homemade or store-bought
  • Smoked paprika
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Handful small parsley sprigs
  • 3 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced


  • In a medium pot, combine the cashews, baking soda, and 3 cups of water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally and skimming off any foam, until the cashews are fully tender and creamy inside, like cooked beans, about 30 minutes.
  • Use a slotted spoon to scoop out 1/3 cup of the cashews and transfer them to a small bowl to cool. Continue to cook the remaining cashews until they're very soft and start falling apart and most of the liquid has been absorbed, 5 to 10 minutes more. You should be able to smoosh a cashew easily against the side of the pot with almost no pressure. Drain the cashews, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid.
  • Place the cashews, salt, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, and tahini into a food processor and blend into a paste. Slowly add the reserved cooking liquid through the feed tube to achieve a creamier consistency. Taste and adjust for salt and lemon.
  • To serve: scoop the hummus into a serving bowl and create a big well in the center. To the well, add the harissa, whole cooked cashews, and smoked paprika. Drizzle on the olive oil, sprinkle on the parsley and scallions, and serve.


The recipe calls for 8 medium garlic cloves and 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice, which makes for a really assertive hummus. If you want to dial it down a bit, start with 4 garlic cloves and half the lemon juice and then adjust once blended to your personal taste.