Set a strainer over a measuring cup. Empty the can of chickpeas in the strainer to save the liquid from the can (which is called aquafaba.) Peel the chickpeas: Pinch them one by one with the tip of your fingers, then discard the skins. Alternatively, place the chickpeas in a large bowl, cover them with water, then gently rub them together to loosen and remove the skins. The peeled chickpeas will remain at the bottom of the bowl while the skins float to the top. Tilt the bowl to pour out the skins, then fully drain the remaining chickpeas in a strainer. Pick out any remaining skins.
If desired, save 2 to 3 tbsp (30 to 45 ml) chickpeas to garnish the hummus before serving. Transfer the remaining chickpeas to the bowl of a food processor (or to the container of a professional blender). Add the lemon zest and juice, tahini, garlic, salt, pepper (if using) and 2 tbsp (30 ml) of the saved aquafaba. Process for 1 minute. Scrape down the bowl and check the consistency. If the hummus still seems thick, add more aquafaba, 1 tbsp (15 ml) at a time, until you reach the desired consistency. (Hummus should be creamy but still hold its shape when you swirl it with the back of a spoon.) Keep processing for 2 to 3 minutes more, or until the hummus is very smooth.
If you used a food processor and have a hand blender: to reach the creamiest consistency, transfer the hummus to a large measuring cup. Fully immerse the hand blender’s head into the hummus and blend it continuously, moving around in an up-and-down motion, for 2 to 3 minutes, or until impeccably smooth.
SERVING: To serve, transfer the hummus in a shallow bowl, or a medium-sized plate. Use the back of a spoon to create a swirling pattern. Garnish with a generous drizzle of olive oil, a sprinkle of sesame seeds, a pinch of flaky sea salt, and some freshly ground black pepper. Scatter the saved chickpeas over (if using) and serve with slices veggies, pita bread, or chips.
STORAGE: Store hummus in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Always garnish right before serving.
MORE IDEAS TO GARNISH HUMMUS—whichever garnishes you choose to use, make sure to always start with a drizzle of olive oil and finish with a pinch of flaky sea salt:
Za’atar (blend of thyme and/or oregano, sesame seeds, and sumac) + thyme leaves
Dukkah (blend of toasted nuts, sesame seeds, and spices) + coriander leaves