Hummus with Olives, Feta & Medjool Dates

The secret to getting silky smooth hummus is to peel your chickpeas. For this recipe, we use canned chickpeas to counteract the extra effort of peeling, but you can also use dried. Much of the flavor in hummus comes from the tahini, so it is worth it to splurge for a quality brand here. The rich, sweet dates and buttery olives are so good with the nuttiness of the tahini and the tang of the feta. The toasty oil adds incredible, savory depth and a delightful little crunch with each bite. We use cumin seeds and sesame seeds here, but whole coriander seeds would also be nice in the mix.


  • One 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • ½ cup tahini
  • 3 Tablespoons lemon juice, plus more as needed
  • 1 small garlic clove, finely grated
  • Kosher salt
  • ¼ cup ice water, plus more as needed
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 1 Tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 4 Rancho Meladuco medjool dates, pitted and chopped
  • ⅓ cup pitted Castelvetrano olives, halved
  • ¼ cup finely chopped or crumbled feta cheese
  • Torn fresh herbs, such as parsley, mint, and dill, for garnish
  • Flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, for sprinkling
  • Warm pita bread, homemade pita chips, and/or crudités, for serving

Transfer the chickpeas to a kitchen towel and gently rub them between the towel until the skins start to peel off. Discard the skins. Squeeze any remaining peeled chickpeas out of their skins. Discard the skins.

In a food processor, puree the tahini with the lemon juice, garlic and ½ teaspoon of salt. With the machine running, slowly add the ice water until the tahini is very smooth, pale and thick.

Add the chickpeas and puree until smooth, occasionally scraping down the side of the bowl. Gradually add more ice water, if you want a thinner consistency. Season with salt and more lemon juice.

Spoon the hummus into a shallow bowl and make a well with the back of a large spoon. 

In a small skillet, warm the olive oil. Add the cumin and sesame seeds and cook over moderate heat, swirling the skillet occasionally, until the cumin is fragrant and the seeds are golden brown, 1 to 2 minute. Generously spoon the oil over the hummus (reserve any extras for salad dressing or roasted vegetables). Top with the dates, olives, feta and herbs. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve with warm pita bread or homemade pita chips and vegetables for dipping. 

MAKE AHEAD The hummus, without the toppings, can be refrigerated for up to 1 week.

Recipe & photos: Julia Heffelfinger @juliaheff

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