The Dish: Michael Solomonov’s Turkish ‘hot butter’ hummus from Dizengoff

March 1, 2024

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) — We’re making something that was always on the table of James Beard Award-winning chef : hummus.

He’s famous for his classic , a chickpea puree with ground sesame seeds.

But today, we’re in the kitchen with him at the newly expanded on Sansom Street, and he’s showing us an easy Turkish hummus that’s warm, bubbly and buttery.

“Turkish hummus is just an abbreviated way of saying a hot butter hummus,” Solomonov says.

It’s a recipe he learned from a chef colleague in Cambridge Massachusetts, Ana Sortun.

“She kind of taught us how to make this at a dinner we did a long time ago,” Solomonov says. “It was on the opening menu of . We don’t do it there anymore. Now, we serve it only here at Dizengoff.”

The recipe starts with dried chickpeas.

“They are just boiled chickpeas,” Solomonov says. “We want them really soft and creamy. I don’t want them to be grainy at all. This will be buttery and luxurious and smooth.”

He soaks his overnight, but says you can easily substitute with canned chickpeas.

Now, add them to a food processor and toss in about 5 cloves of roasted garlic, four tablespoons of butter and some lemon juice. Blend until it’s smooth.

“It’s kind of rich and luxurious,” he says.

Now, place the mixture into an oven-safe dish and add more luxury by pouring on melted brown butter.

“Add a little bit of dried urfa biber pepper,” he says. “These are a little bit spicy, but really chocolatey and smoky.”

Into the oven it goes.

“You can throw this in a toaster oven, you can throw it in a regular oven or even a broiler,” he says. “We just wanted to get a little bubbly.”

It warms up quickly. Look for a little bubbling on top. Hit the hot, buttery hummus with a little more kick and some crispy, fried garlic to garnish.

At Dizengoff, they serve it with fresh, warm pita bread.

“We don’t like to mix milk and meat in our restaurants,” Solomonov says. “We try to keep it a little bit kosher style. At home, if you want to make this with ground lamb with pine nuts or other meat, it’s really good.”

The newly reimagined and expanded Dizengoff Restaurant

The new Dizengoff restaurant on Sansom Street was once a shared space: a smaller Dizengoff on one side, and the restaurant Abe Fisher on the other. It’s now entirely filled by Dizengoff, because the hummus has spoken.

“We didn’t know if people would come just for the hummus, but we were informed that people were ready for something like this,” he says. “We have the hummus and really awesome sandwiches for lunch. There’s also a sit down dinner with a ton of energy.”

Dizengoff is named for the famous square in Tel Aviv, Israel.

“When I was in boarding school, we would party and sleep on the benches in Dizengoff Square,” he laughs.

So, when Solomonov re-invisioned and expanded Dizengoff, he wanted it to feel authentic, with special Israeli touches around the space.

He also recently launched his famous hummus brand in Whole Food stores.

“I’m really excited about it,” he says. “It’s been a while. I think our hummus is unique, and I want everyone to be able to taste it.”

Hummus is a family staple for the Israeli-born, Pittsburgh raised chef.

“It was so simple, with so much love and I just want to bring people back to that moment,” he says.

His strongest culinary memories include hummus and schnitzel, a cutlet style fried chicken breast.

“Gas station schnitzel sandwiches, or schnitzel platters, are the best,” Solomonov says. “There are all of these roadside gas station restaurants.”

Schnitzel is on the menu at Dizengoff, only elevated.

“There’s really nothing better and this is obviously more of a fancy rice that we make with it,” he says.

Solomonov is the brainchild behind the James Beard award-winning Zahav, Federal Donuts and other hot spots across the Philadelphia, and the Northeast.

“I went to culinary school in Florida and moved to Philly because it was on the way to New York,” he says. “And I stayed. It’s such an amazing city.”

Turkish “Hot Butter” Hummus Recipe by Mike Solomonov


  • 1 head of garlic
  • 1/2 stick of butter
  • 1 cup dried chickpeas (can substitute with canned instead)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda


1. Cut the top off a head of garlic, drizzle it with olive oil, and roast it in a 350F oven until brown and very soft

2. Squeeze out the roasted garlic into a medium saucepan and add 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) of butter

3. Melt the butter slowly with the garlic

4. Combine the cooked chickpeas from the Hummus Tehina recipe (see below), the butter-garlic mixture, and the juice of 1 lemon in a food processor and puree until smooth, salt well to taste

5. Transfer to an ovenproof dish and sprinkle some whole cooked chickpeas on top

6. Bake until the top is golden brown, about 5 minutes

7. Garnish with olive oil and ground Urfa pepper and serve

Cooked Chickpeas (For Hummus Tehina + Turkish Hummus)

1. Place 1 cup of dried chickpeas in a large bowl with 1 teaspoon of the baking soda and cover with water. (The chickpeas will double in volume, so use more water than you think you need.)

2. Soak the chickpeas overnight at room temperature. The next day, drain the chickpeas and rinse under cold water

3. Place the chickpeas in a large pot with 1 teaspoon baking soda and add cold water to cover by at least 4 inches

4. Bring the chickpeas to a boil over high heat, skimming off any scum that rises to the surface

5. Lower the heat to medium, cover the pot, and continue to simmer for about 1 hour, until the chickpeas are completely tender

6. Then simmer them a little more. (The secret to creamy hummus is overcooked chickpeas; don’t worry if they are mushy and falling apart a little.)

7. Drain

Copyright © 2024 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.

Your custom text © Copyright 2024. All rights reserved.