Fennel just seems like it was made for hummus. Sure, fennel is great in many other dishes but in my mind the two go together. They both evoke rolling hills studded with olive groves under the Mediterranean sun. So I paired them in making a dip. It was like the whole Mediterranean was contained in a bowl.
The fennel aroma in this hummus is rather subtle which is good if you’re looking to make a dip that has only a hint of fennel flavor but if you want a hummus that screams fennel, aid with some anise extract or liqueur.
Fennel Hummus Recipe
4 to 6 servings
1/2 small fennel bulb
1 large garlic clove, peeled
1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans or chickpeas, rinsed and drained (or 1.5 cups home cooked beans)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, or more to taste
2 tablespoons tahini (sesame paste)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/4 teaspoon pure anise extract or 1 tablespoon anisette , optional
Using a centrifugal juicer, extract the juice of the fennel to obtain about ¼ cup sap.
In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the garlic until finely minced. Add the fennel juice, chickpeas or cannellini beans, lemon juice, tahini and olive oil. Purée until you obtain a smooth paste. Season with salt and pepper. Taste and add the anise extract or liqueur, if you wish.